I just watched this really wonderful presentation from last years UX Week. It's given by Katherine Jones and Randall Macon from Milkshake, on the subject of Brands that are appropriate platforms for fostering community.
They walk us through how they think about Brands and how they uncover if community building/expanding/supporting is a viable or useful endeavor for a specific orgainization.
Livestrong and the Blanton Museum are used as casestudies. These stories are both perfect and very different illustrations, both completely engaging and enlighting.
Milkshake uses a process of identifing three distinct pieces of the community picture. Belonging. Connecting. Enduring. I'll let you watch the video for the details, but I will say that I am excited to try this process out.
My big take aways are:
- External Influences can't be ignored and are extremly powerful, effecting the way in which your Brand is being perceived. This is especially true when your Brand is carried and shaped by a community.
- You can't just flip a switch if the switch doesn't exist.
- Find out who they trust.
- I would love to work at Milkshake. Smart. Thoughtful people.