Create shared experiences to build your community

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.

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5 thoughts on “Create shared experiences to build your community

  1. dan360man says:

    Honored you took my idea and ran with it; it's my mantra. Brands should take every opportunity to not only meet their advocates, but introduce them to each other. If you create experiences people remember, they can say, “Hey — I met you at that Fatburger contest in Las Vegas.” There's brand recall, but there's an automatic affinity, I think, towards the brand because of that. That is, unless you really couldn't stand the person!

    • morganb says:

      Thanks Dan for the comment and the inspiration. You're exactly right, the brand becomes the glue between important connections and that elevates the brand in both peoples' eyes. It's the ultimate triple-win. Unless of course the experience is a disaster. As you said you can either find that you don't like the people with the shared experience or the shared experience itself is a bad one. There are plenty of examples of the latter. Shared bad experiences are arguably more powerful than positive ones. Thanks again!

  2. Re: “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.” Well said and oh so true!On another note, you've given me something to think about. How can “I” as an individual create a similar experience…P.S. Dan360Man is da man!

    • morganb says:

      Great point Ricardo. How can we as individuals create amazingexperiences for other people that put us at the center of sharedexperiences is a great goal to strive for…

  3. morganb says:

    Great point Ricardo. How can we as individuals create amazingexperiences for other people that put us at the center of sharedexperiences is a great goal to strive for…

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