Commerce has changed rapidly over the last decade. Consumers have increasingly focused on brand experience more than anything else. They crave more authentic and stronger emotional connections with the brands they love. Loyalty, retention, and growth are now dependent on experience, connection, and community.
The problem? Community is the kingmaker of category-defining brands, but creating healthy and vibrant communities for a brand is difficult. A thriving internet community can cost an investment of up to $153 per member.
The holy grail of online communities, the thing that creates that authentic connection that your customers desire, is to help them feel “a sense of ownership”. There’s no metrics for a sense of ownership, you can’t track that, and there’s no proven path to achieving it. You can spend countless dollars on a game of guess and check, but good luck with that.
You can chase a sense of ownership, or you can give them actual ownership. If a consumer can have a stake in the success of a brand, it fundamentally alters that emotional connection. Community ownership is the answer to a thriving community.
The meteoric rise of web3 is a great example of what community ownership can do. Billion-dollar digital brands were crowned overnight in 2021, and communities led the charge. But regulatory uncertainty and a lack of clarity around what someone actually owns with an NFT brought things crashing back to reality. These digital brands made real money, but the people who bought their NFTs don’t have a legal stake in that success. There’s so much potential, but something is still missing, and that thing is equity.
To succeed in the new economy, you’re going to need community ownership. If you want to do community ownership right, it has to be easy, it has to be compliant, and it has to include equity.
That’s where we come in.
Upside.coop is a turn-key community building platform for the era of community ownership. It’s easy, it’s compliant, and it’s equity.
First, you’ll use the platform to create your one-of-a-kind loyalty and retention program by rewarding customers with ownership through purchases and through referrals. All you have to do is link your sales data.
Second, you’ll engage directly with your community and they’ll engage with each other. You’ll create culture and foster that new emotional connection. All you have to do is show up.
Finally, you’ll drive the success of your brand with your community by rewarding and incentivizing anything that’s impactful. It could be user content creation, product feedback, gig work, or guerilla marketing. All you have to do is ask.