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Communities > customers.

Handle them with care.

April 26, 2024

Ted Brown Headshot

Ted Brown

VP of Creative

There are a lot of former journalists here at Codeword, which means that the dire media landscape and the layoffs affecting newspapers, magazines, and digital outlets has hit a lot closer to home for us compared to other agencies. It’s been a tough few months after a tough few years for the industry.

As the dust settles, though, one thing is clear: Communities are currency. New writer-owned media companies are emerging as a stable alternative, and we’re seeing their readers follow along as they explore new platforms and formats.

So here’s the free advice: Cultivate your community with care. That’s the truth whether they’re specialized consumers who love your product or first adopters who have become lifelong fans. Target the customers and fans who love you the most, and create for them. Those people will sustain you going forward and keep you honest as you build, refine, and perfect your brand.

  1. Customers are temporary; communities are resilient. Every time someone encounters your brand, you have an opportunity to bring them into your permanent orbit. Don’t waste it.
  2. Keep the conversation going. Brands that don’t adapt to the changing desires of their communities get disrupted. Listen, engage, and don’t be afraid to change.
  3. Cross-pollinate success. Take a look at what other communities are doing well and learn from them—even if they have nothing to do with your product. The same goes for collaborating with other brands and bringing communities together; there’s a good chance everyone will benefit from it.
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