Building your community

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Building your community

In today’s crowded marketplace, how do you stand out? An often-underrated strategy is community.

We touched on this briefly in last months blog post where we spoke about the different ways you could give back following the recent bushfire crisis, but how do you continue to develop and grow your community once a news cycle has passed?

In Vend’s Retail Trends and Predictions 2020 report* – they referenced Pace Athletic, a speciality store for running footwear here in Australia. Within two years, they’ve grown from one store to five, competing against the online and larger chain stores such as Rebel Sport. How did they do this? They focussed on community-building with the inception of the Pace Run Club, a casual and inclusive club that simply went running, but generally leaving and finishing at the local store.

This worked for a few different reasons, they built a sense of comradery amongst the runners, and if you’re a runner you know that you’ll go further or faster with someone else ahead, beside or behind you. It’s also ‘FREE’ – that magic term that people love, you don’t have to pay anything to join, you just turn up and run with like-minded people.

Runners are also their pure target demographic, if you are active, you’ll need trainers and that subliminal action of starting or finishing at the store gave them a captive audience.

So how can you give back and build a community? Start small, don’t try and do it all at once. Think about your local charities where their goals and values align with your company values. Local sports clubs, does your target demographic participate or watch?

And the most useful piece of advice, talk to your customers! It’s quite often a forgotten approach, and the reason many programmes miss the mark. Find out what’s important to them, where they’d like to see you being involved, you might be surprised to hear what they have to say.

Another way to do this is through our Contribute solution where 2% of the spend is contributed to your favourite charity. Every little thing you give back counts.