In my post about what I learned about BlogWorld I mentioned the power of social objects to build community, and one of the commenters, Daniel Honigman pointed out correctly that I was referring to shared experiences rather than social objects. I wrote that Fatburger got it with their BlogWorld Fatburger Challenges which pitted attendees against one another to eat a massive XXX WTF burger. The winner won a t-shirt, certificate and some money donated to charity. Everyone that finished the burger got a certificate as well.
Here’s a short video I made of the event:
To me the prizes aren’t the interesting part or the motivating part for the participants. Instead it’s the shared experience of the burger challenge that makes it so appealing. No matter how brief the interaction the participants now all have a shared, common experience that bonds them. When they return next year they’ll talk about Fatburger and the burger challenge. They’ll have common ground that will allow them to become closer with Fatburger facilitating that connection.
Positive shared experiences:
- Create a bond between members of the community surrounding the brand
- Put the brand at the center of memorable experiences that become part of the social fabric of the community
- Create lasting memories for participants
- Build goodwill and brand equity with participants
- Increase mind share, loyalty and sentiment among participants
Brands that can place themselves at the center of shared experiences will gain more loyalty, more mind share and more attention than those that don’t.
How can you build shared experiences into your relationship with your customers? How can you connect them around an event or experience to form the important community bonds between themselves that make community grow?
What are some of the shared experiences you’ve built into your business? I’d love to hear about them.