Brand communities are rapidly changing as a result of broader changes in the world over the last 12 months. In response to unforeseen circumstances, many brands had to shift priorities and resources and build new solutions. The same is true at Khoros, and we recently completed a major revamp of our technology that was not on our plan or roadmap. Since we didn't follow a typical product release and communication process you may not have heard of it.
It’s no secret we are living through a rough patch in human history. We are lucky to have incredible tools for digital connection - and none are more powerful than communities. In this time of change, having a brand community to build powerful networks that are more adaptable and resilient is helping many brands succeed. Other brands are therefore launching or expanding their own online communities. As a leader in the space for two decades, Khoros has built some of the most respected and successful brand communities in the world - like Airbnb, Google, Microsoft, Anaplan, eBay, Fitbit, Cisco, Sephora, Alteryx, and many more. One of the challenges we face is that new customers want to emulate these iconic, mature communities as quickly as possible. However, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Although we get better with every community we build, it still isn't possible to create these incredibly successful communities overnight. What we needed was to optimize the tools and resources we have available to help every new community achieve that success, avoid any pitfalls, and grow rapidly without needing the same level of resources as they did in the past.
Every new Khoros Community launch is based on years of best practice experiences and comes packaged with the optimal level of services; including front- and back-end engineering, experienced community strategists, in-person and on-demand training, and project management. This model still works, but to respond to the changing environment, we needed to accelerate our launches while ALSO delivering more of the most recent best practices and technology innovations in this shorter time frame - either via automation or “out-of-the-box.”
Project Hermes was the internal codename for an initiative we launched in June of 2020 in response to rapidly increasing customer demands to simplify and accelerate community launches. We created a team that spanned every department in Khoros: Product, Engineering, Professional Services, Customer Success, Sales, Marketing, and Strategy. Everyone came to the table with a list of challenges uncovered in recent community launches and we all committed to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes to create the best possible community launch (or "relaunch" - more on that later).
We wrapped up the project in November and here is what we did.
Not only did we create a list of impactful improvements really quickly, we immediately put it to use. We have launched almost a dozen communities on the new Hermes theme AND started applying it to existing communities to improve performance and user experience.
eBay is a great example of an established community that benefited from thsi new template. Like any digital property that’s been around for a while, they had a lot of customizations they had done to their communities. They even talked about it in a recent podcast!
So far, we have also seen improvements in performance - most notably page load times reduced more than 35%.
We will continue to make improvements on this technology - and we have something even bigger planned for next year.
If you are interested in learning more about Hermes for your community please contact your Khoros Account team to schedule a demo.
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