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Shared Experiences Create Communities
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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Nearly a decade ago, we were introduced to the concept of "communal consumption," the idea that consumers no longer need to belong to physical or tangible target audiences or segments. The example provided to us was that of the Harley Davidson community. This group of people comes from is made up of different colors, shapes, sizes, incomes, and lifestyles. Yet one thing brings them all together. They all enjoy the attitude that Harley Davidson displays.

The same goes for many online and offline communities. We like to bring up sports fans. If you survey the fans of Manchester United or the Chicago Bears, you see the same thing: The demographics are all over the place. But, the communities of Man. U and Da Bears are linked by their shared experiences. Bring up Rooney and the Man U fans go crazy. Talk about the '85 season and Iron Mike, and a Bears fan could talk your ear off.

Marketers and advertisers can do good work when they tie a brand with an established community. With as crazy and busy as life seems to be, marketers do not need to waste time trying to create groups for people to gather. Like Seth Godin says in his talk and book Tribes, many of these tribes — communities of people gathered around a topic or idea — have been gathered for us. We need to do the due diligence and provide quality products and messaging that is worth that community's attention.

Can AdLand step up to the challenge?

We think so. There are many glimmers of hope with short video and the increased attention paid to content. Marketers are giving good reasons for consumers to engage, but it cannot stop there. We are in business to make life easier and more enjoyable, right? Making sure the brands and products we advocate for actually solve consumers’ problems is not only a good business practice, but a priority.

Let's connect these communities with ideas, goods, and services that will truly help them. Let's provide these communities with yet another quality shared experience that they will remember and cherish.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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