1. Every brand lover regularly uses a set of brands from several product categories to express his or her personality. Brand lovers have a simultaneous emotional connection with multiple brands in their daily life.
Brand communities will no longer form around a single brand (e.g. Nutella) but around a network of brands (e.g. Nutella + Apple + Mini + Gucci).
2. Brands see themselves at the very center of a relationship with thousands - if not millions - of consumers. A Brand Manager needs to realize the limited importance that people attribute to a single brand.
Brands will no longer be the focal point of brand community, single consumers with their sophisticated consumption habits will.
3. People out there have brand preferences that are similar to yours and current technology allows us to bring these invisible links to life enabling the creation of communities based on truly similar people.
Brand communities will be tailored to the brand preferences of the individual in any given moment.
4. Demographic variables such as sex, age group, and race fail to capture the essence of an individual. Brand Managers should stop analyzing segments of people and focus on the individual's needs and wants.
Consumers need to be envisioned and modeled not only as individuals, but as a complex and interrelated global network (i.e. social habits are equally important).
5. All brands, in every product category, have got at least one passionate consumer among those that ideate, build, distribute, sell, use, recommend it. Every Brand Manager should discover and connect to the most influential people for different business purposes (e.g. market research, product innovation, promotional activities, influential's program).
Direct consumer-brand collaboration will impact all brands and categories creating disintermediation in the marketing industry.
In synthesis, I believe that Brand Communities will be the great revolution that many envisioned (see Forrester) but not in the form that we used to conceptualize them.
Alex Mari - Founder of BrandMate