At CMX, we believe that having standards for how we talk about community in the business world is essential for everyone’s success: the organization, the community member, and the community builder.

Community is:

A community is a group of more than two people with a common sense of identity, who participate in ongoing, shared experiences to meet their needs.

Branded Community is: 

A branded community is a community with a specific business objective lead by an executive sponsor, where a company creates a space for people with a common sense of identity to participate in ongoing, shared experiences.

Let’s break that definition apart. Your branded community must:

  1. Have a specific business objective tied to it.
  2. Have a leader (and ideally, an executive sponsor).
  3. Have a space (a Facebook group, branded platform, or offline meetups, for instance).
  4. Contain members with a common sense of identity (otherwise, why would they be there?).
  5. Create ongoing, shared experiences. These can happen in any medium, online or offline or both. But they must be ongoing to be part of a community strategy.

A branded community is an extension of the business itself. In essence, your community members build upon a shared mission and become part of a cocreation effort to reach your defined business goal.