Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Building Communities by Discovering Hidden Gems.

With the rise in popularity of staycations, many are discovering the sights of one’s own city. This has become a recent hobby of mine and my favorite sightseeing adventures are finding those hidden gems off the beaten path. Recently I discovered the Riverview Theater off of 38th street and 42nd avenue, bordering St. Paul and Minneapolis. With a décor ala Mad Men, and a beautifully designed one-screen theater it stands out from the sea of mass-produced suburban multiplexes.

Photo: Riverview Lobby (Emma Wiedner)

Providing a step back in time from the décor to the candy selection to the ticket prices (never over $5) the theatre is one of those cultural highlights of the city hidden beneath the obvious sightseeing surface. One feels as if they’ve been let in on a community secret by discovering it.

Photo: Riverview Theater Concessions (Emma Wiedner)

This inclusion into a community secret or hidden gem is when one truly begins to feel like a local of the community. A moment where one becomes a part of a community, and by the inclusion of others begins to build upon that community. This insight of community building around hidden gems is a wise lesson for marketers to always remember.

For brands to be successful they should provide a hidden gem like quality, a feeling of inclusion and community for its consumers to connect to and build upon. When brands exemplify this it turns people from consumers to brand advocates, a key consumer group that has turned Harley Davidson, Toyota and Apple into iconic brands with staying power. At the end of the day always remember: A brand has no staying power, no steam if it doesn’t build a community to rally around it.

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