Brilliant! online communities

Want a thriving online community where consumers chat about you? Of course you do! Because it will not only foster consumer engagement with your brand, but also provide valuable feedback. Unfortunately, such communities don't build themselves. We found two brands that have figured it out.

Want a thriving online community where consumers chat about you? Of course you do! Because it will not only foster consumer engagement with your brand, but also provide valuable feedback. Unfortunately, such communities don’t build themselves. We found two brands that have figured it out.

Robin Hood feeds moms advice

Who’d have thought a flour brand could create a vibrant online community of moms chatting about everything from recipes and parenting to even the brand’s latest ad efforts?

Robin Hood has done just that, with The Robin Hood Baker’s Forum (www.robinhood.ca), thanks to a little help from Toronto-based OgilvyOne. When the brand launched its ‘Elizabeth and Andrew’ campaign last fall, the forum lit up with members talking about how much they love the new animated spokeskids. For example, on one such lengthy thread a user was so intrigued she asked what networks they’re running on, as she hasn’t seen them yet. ‘The Marketer,’ responded to her query and engaged in friendly chat – giving the brand a personal touch.

Axe U educates marketing department, too

This site, by Toronto-based interactive agency Dashboard, does well to engage its target, the 18-24 male, as well as promote ‘Axe U’ events. The Toronto-based Unilever Canada brand hosts two events a year across Canada, allowing young men to interact with the fair sex, including the blonde Axe reps. Users can also download Axe U ‘course materials’ like playbooks and wallpaper, as well as chat. ‘The message board seeds anticipation about our events, and captures feedback [afterwards],’ explains Axe brand building manager David Allard. For example, after last year’s Camp Touch event, Axe sent out DVDs with event coverage to select members, prompting message board feedback like this comment from ‘Scooter’: ‘I just got my DVD in the mail…i have to give mad props to the peoples at axe for keeping those who signed up interested.’