Brand communities and the buyer journey: A millennial’s perspective

Khoros Staff


Millennials. Love us or hate us, we are the leading group of consumers with roughly $200 million in annual buying power and a leading voice in the national conversation. Sure, we love avocado toast, a good meme, and anything reminiscent of 90’s nostalgia, but how we decide where we invest our time and money runs much deeper. 

Activism is at the core of our collective group - we are unabashedly vocal about environmental sustainability and social equality, to name a few, and we back our words with honest contributions. Renowned as the generation of “team players”, our communities are the bedrock for our activism - we look to them for support, recognition and new ideas.

Naturally, we approach our brand relationships in the same light. As active participants in the buying process, we are forthright in sharing our feedback, ideas, and expectations as consumers and we want brands to engage in those conversations and make prescriptive changes based on our feedback. Likewise, we heavily rely on crowdsourcing the input of our peers to guide our purchasing decisions and where we invest loyalty. 

For businesses, supporting this collaborative customer journey has given rise to brand-owned Communities - an online space where consumers can connect with their peers, ask questions, get answers, and share ideas to build stronger relationships with brands.

The impact Communities have on our brand relationships is best illustrated by data. According to Edleman, 52% of customers feel a deeper sense of loyalty and connection to a brand when they can interact with a brand in a community and 68% of customers feel more connected to a brand when they elicit input from their customers. 

While the investment pays for itself in customer loyalty, Communities provide other (often overlooked) revenue opportunities for brands… and it’s hidden in the treasure trove of valuable customer feedback and content that users freely share in these spaces. 

We recently teamed up with Adobe to explore how brands are leveraging Communities - and the insights within them - to connect with customers across their journey. Here’s a quick synopsis of what we found:

  • Data and insights: Communities allow customers to provide specific feedback about products/services and share new ideas on what they want to see from your brand. These insights can help drive product development for better and more profitable products that meet the needs of consumers.
  • Reviews and UGC: Millennials (and Gen Z) aren’t naive to the inauthenticity of influencer marketing - we want and trust the unbiased opinions of our peers. The content users share in a community (also called, user-generated content) can be a powerful marketing tool to make websites more credible and engage consumers across channels, including social media.

For more insights on the power of brand-owned communities, you can read our chapter, Khoros: the DX Trio of Communities, Content, and Commerce, here.

I’ll leave you by wrapping up this post in a beautiful Millennial bow: If you wanna be our brand, you gotta get with our friends. And by empowering younger generations with a platform to openly share our feedback, businesses are rewarded with loyalty and a buffet of valuable customer insights to drive strategic product, marketing and customer experience decisions.

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