Community-building is powering everything from product innovation to commerce platforms. In this episode we dive into how to build a community and how to do it with authenticity. Plus: how did Kanye West's Yeezy brand shape the entire footwear industry in just 5 years?

Show Notes

Main Takeaways:

  • Phillip realizes that some content ages better than others.
  • Retail renaissance will always be relevant.
  • How does community impact the world around us?

Adidas vs Nike: Battle of the User Experience:

  • Adidas cracks the Global Top 100 Brands 2018 list.
  • Nike remains on the list at #29.
  • According to Phillip, Nike is setting the stage for where footwear should be but is Adidas's app changing the buyer experience?
  • Phillip almost buys Adidas after Nike sneaker sells out in 31 minutes.
  • Adidas app seems to allow for a unique user experience, while Nike just seems like a responsive website.
  • Does Adidas's unique approach to customer engagement mean they will pull ahead of Nike?

Does Brian love Kanye like Kanye loves Kanye?

  • Kanye's "Yeezy" changed the footwear game forever.
  • Yeezy's used to be a luxury product, but production is ramping up to over a million pairs for the upcoming sneaker.
  • Kanye West's ability to be a content creator and foster community is unparalleled in the sneaker industry.
  • Yeezy is the brand other brands love to copy.
  • Brian is definitely a Kanye West fan.

Social Platforms and Communities:

  • Reddit becomes the third most-used website behind Amazon and Youtube.
  • Reddit surged ahead and surpassed Facebook.
  • Facebook users seem to be all about engaging with Facebook and known social contacts.
  • Reddit users create distinct communities and engage in community-based conversation.
  • Commerce works in a similar structure to Reddit in terms of engagement: sharing experiences and sharing ideas.
  • Magento is a great example of a "commerce-based community."

Beyond the $$: Community Building is Helping Companies Grow:

  • Early adopters of the web self-organized into enthusiastic communities like dial-up BBS.
  • Phillip realizes he may, in fact, be older than Brian.
  • Former Payless shoe rep built XO communications by installing dial-up services in Payless stores and is successful because he focuses on community rather than company building.
  • Throughout the 90's and early 2000's, companies like Microsoft and Google follow this path as well.
  • Everything comes down to community building: where products are sourced, how they are made, and the ethics of the process.

Community Building Basics:

  • Don't try to control the conversation or the message.
  • Tell a story as a brand that fosters conversation.
  • Let users engage in the conversation, and listen to feedback.
  • Always be open to change and adaptation.

Examples of Community Builders: King of Pops and Bitter Southerner:

  • King of Pops makes popsicles popular by setting up shop at every music festival in Atlanta in 2018.
  • King of Pops create community and conversation at their popsicles stands.
  • The Bitter Southerner an online opinion magazine gives a voice to opinionated southerners sick of being caricatures, with related apparel.
  • Wearing Bitter Southerner apparel opens up conversations about real "southern values", and allows for community building.
  • The future of branding is all about having conversations.

Retail tech is moving fast, and Future Commerce is moving faster.

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