The power of community

It’s been a rough few years. As you can imagine, there haven’t been many positives we could pull out of COVID. But one, slightly unexpected, yet highly welcomed benefit of lockdown, was a renewed sense of local community.

Throughout the pandemic, there were lots of shining examples of people going above and beyond to support their community. From looking in on vulnerable neighbours and doing their shopping for them, to clapping for the NHS and the simple symbolic gesture of wearing your mask and social distancing.

Now that we’re out the other side of the pandemic and into a fresh crisis with the rising cost of living, that sense of community is as important as ever.

Research shows that nearly 75% of us say we feel part of a community, with 68% believing it’s important to feel that way. What’s more, 46% of people plan to do more to help their local community in the near future. So how do we, as marketeers, leverage this positive spirit to do great things for local brands?

Our recent campaign for transport business Go Ahead Group, aimed to use community spirit to create a bus movement. The ‘Our Bus’ campaign encourages people to look at their local bus with a new perspective, to appreciate how it creates closer connections with the community around you. After all, riding the bus supports local business, promotes local air quality, and ensures a regular bus service for those who really need it. Recent research has even suggested that every £1 spent on public transport creates £4 worth of value for the community.

Another great example of community spirit was our ‘Thank You’ campaign for The Guardian. In it we celebrated the role local newsagents played in supporting their communities through recent hard times. Whether it was by being a familiar smiling face or delivering basic care packages to vulnerable members of the community – local business owners really stepped up and they deserved to be thanked.

It’s not just through campaigns that we can tap into community spirit. It can (and should) be a key consideration in brand development too. We recently rebranded Social Value software ‘Social Profit Calculator’, looking at how we could help them stand out in a commoditised market. With a new name, ‘Loop’, and an updated approach we put people and communities at the heart of the business offering.

The idea of community is nothing new. But right now, as brands’ marketing budgets are getting squeezed but growth expectations remain the same, making your marketing more meaningful is more important than ever.

It’s something we call Powerful Simplicity.

If you want to find out more about what we could do for you, get in touch today.