Despite technology’s advances, and the endless ways of connecting with others, many people feel more lonely than ever. We are experiencing a crisis of belonging. Connections made on social media tend to be superficial and shallow, and in 2021, people crave meaningful engagement.
The sense of belonging, and inclusion of a group, is a basic need that all humans share (right at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs1). Some find this togetherness in a church, a curling team or a choir – others find it in a company. Some examples of successful brand communities are Nike, Apple, Lego, Harley Davidson and GoPro, where the product helps the user to be a part of a desired lifestyle. But also service-companies like Airbnb have a strong community, with loyal customers that identify themselves with the core value of the brand.