Building a community is more than a marketing tactic. These communities, whether physical or digital, foster a brand's authenticity, trust, and loyalty.

Communities are crucial when it comes to increasing brand awareness and driving referrals.

As the brand owned community grows in popularity,

We've decided to share some of our favourite examples of DTC brand communities:

  1. FIGS
  2. Aerie
  3. Peloton
  4. Modern Fertility
  5. Blume
  6. Glossier
  7. Nide
  8. Outdoor Voices
  9. Kitty & Vibe
  10. My Glamm
  11. Sirona
  12. Diggs
  13. Rothy
  14. Aryan Veda

Without further a do, Let’s dive right in.

FIGS

FIGS offers comfortable and affordable apparel for healthcare professionals. The brand is committed to helping these professionals look, feel and perform at their best – 24/7, 365 days a year.

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The best way to see the impact of community is via increased loyalty and lower acquisition costs.

By building a community of healthcare professionals, FIGS foster its customer loyalty.

They launched an ambassador program of 250 passionate customers. This customer will help them to engage with the broader community.

These Ambassadors will mentor and inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals at:

  • Professional Conventions
  • Leading organizations and associations, Bringing FIGS with them everywhere they go.

Besides, FIGS social media highlight the daily wins and challenges of healthcare professionals.

FIGS has 0.5M followers and a twice-as-high engagement rate as the industry average.

Aerie

Aerie offers lingerie products and markets to young consumers 15 to 25. They always stood for women's empowerment, inclusivity, and body positivity.

The brand is curating a diverse group of women, Including students, mothers, working professionals, and more, in their #AerieREAL Ambassador community.

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Aerie built a strong community of advocates through body-positive ad campaigns. By Inviting customers to tag #AerieREAL, they changed the conversation about beauty standards.

The lingerie brand has onboarded actors and artists like Lana Condor & Beanie Feldstein. The aim is to spread Aerie's body-positive philosophy to artist's hardcore fans.

By helping to publicize the #AerieRealChange Initiative, The company is looking for 20 real-life changemakers. And to support their community work with a grant of $20,000 each.

Peloton

Combining fitness, socialization and instructors, Peloton is growing an engaging community that promotes healthy competition keeping users motivated.

Peloton sells spinning coupled with a large touchscreen wedged on the front.

The rider uses the screen to live stream live classes.

A rider can choose from different classes where an instructor guides him through the aspects such as:

Increasing speed, resistance and arm exercises with the companion weights.

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At the core of successful competition is accomplishing goals within your peer group.

One user can see other riders and friends in competition. It also allows them to connect with peers through Facebook and Fitbit.

The riders can see where they stand on the leaderboard. The leaderboard is auto-updated in real-time during the class.

Peloton social integration not only awakens users competitive nature but also has an effect on:

  • Keeping rider-focused
  • Pushing riders beyond their comfort zone, and
  • Helping riders become more immersed in the class.

Using gamification, Peloton weaves a community of motivated fitness enthusiasts.

Modern Fertility

Modern Fertility sells fertility tests to consumers.

Founded in 2016, This brand is building a safe space to talk about health, fertility, careers, and more.

Diverse women discuss topics such as fertility and puberty inside the slack community.

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The members can get their questions answered by fertility experts inside the community.  And Meet others too who are facing similar issues and get connected to the resources they need.

Interested women's first need to apply to join this private community. The company review every application and looks for people passionate about health, careers, and planning for life.

Once the application approves,

The member can start or become a part of a discussion. While connecting with inspiring people from across the country and win exclusive goodies.

Customers can join weekly webinars led by an IVF nurse, exploring topics related to reproductive health. Plus a 1-on-1 consultation with a fertility nurse for resolving problems.

Members feedback, ideas, and insights influences Modern Fertility's product roadmap. As well as the cutting-edge research team is conducting on the sidelines.

Blume

Blume is building a safe space for young women to learn, grow, and become their badass selves.

They are Cultivating a community that validates puberty. And all the feelings that come with it, much of which persists into adulthood.

The brand runs Blume University for information on acne, puberty and sex education. They open up discussions on topics for members to educate and empower themselves.

The Company shares real and diverse stories from diverse women facing common issues. By speaking directly to customers, transforming awkward conversations into exciting moments of growth.

They created a close friend list on Instagram where members need to opt in to get exclusive content. This way, the new members become part of something bigger than themselves.

Glossier

Glossier is able to connect with its customers on a personal level in an affordable way to build its brand.

They give women an opportunity to discuss beauty products in a genuine, By eliminating the influencers serving as gatekeepers of the fashion and beauty industries.

The glossier blog began with beauty routines and #shelfies (where women's posts a pic of their fav. beauty and skincare products). It's what made the blog so popular in its early days.

The brand selects loyal fans from its customer base with a small social media following (most of them have 300- 5,000 followers).

These fans share their skincare routine and favourite products on their profile page. Their custom link gives new shoppers 10% off their first order.

Here are the 2 main reasons for Glossier's ability to generate mass UGC:

  1. Their pop-culture-savvy and fun tone across all channels resonates with their younger audience.

2.  Glossier rewards that attention by responding and sharing customer content across all channels

Glossier is also known for leveraging blog readers for crowd-sourcing and product co-creation.

A typical product-sourcing post receives more than 300 detailed comments. This feedback is used to build product, packaging, copy, and advertising campaign decisions.

For example, when sourcing their best-selling moisturiser, Glossier desired jar packaging. Customers' feedback indicated that jars viewed as less sanitary, so the brand opted for a pump. Other comments they incorporated were about preferred products, texture, and ingredients.

This was the genius of Glossier's community approach. The brand established a trustworthy relationship with its customers at a low cost.

Nide

The French cruelty-free beauty brand, Nide takes community collaboration a step further.

Community members submit ideas and are awarded 500 euros if they are viable.

If the person's idea receives enough votes from the community, he or she will receive 1,500 euros.

Once their idea receives 2000 votes, the brand will then choose 200 people from the community to test the first version a.k.a the beta test.

The continuous feedback they'll receive from the community help them optimise the formula and get a suitable product.

Besides, The person with the idea will receive 10% of the sales after the product is being co-created.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voice is a Direct-To-Consumer active lifestyle brand that puts building a brand community at the core of its strategy.

Reason?

To increase customer loyalty and speed up growth through brand awareness.

The brand has a micro group of brand ambassadors known as "Doers",

Whose mission is "community building, social promotion, and community engagement."

Customers share their social handles, favourite outdoor activities, and a brief explanation of why they want to join in.

Candidate advocates are evaluated to see if they are a good fit for the OV brand.

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Benefits include:

  • Exclusive discounts
  • First look at new product launches
  • Rewards for inspiring others to get moving

These ambassadors conduct phy-gital events such as virtual workouts, sessions and social challenges.

This helps the OV to identify its best customers. And use their continuous feedback to guide brand decision making. And provide them with exclusive benefits that turn them into brand evangelists.

Kitty and Vibe

Kitty & Vibe offers Swimwear in different size ranges, perfect for small or large bums.

The brand is building a community that is dynamic, meaningful, and fun. Tying online and offline engagement programs into a unique customer-centric experience.

The founder posts all-new product designs for the kitty and Vibe Instagram community.

Customers can vote on everything from style to patterns and colours, making the products even more personalised.

Co-creating with customers gives them control over the full design process, making the product more personal.

The engagement on Instagram polls about their future products is the highest on the platform.

Going further, They organized a pool party event called “Parties for EveryBOOTY.” where fellow members can put on their Kitty swimsuit and meet face-to-face for having fun.

The company also curated a Spotify playlist, only to deeply with the customers

Kitty and Vibe fuel their growth by keeping customers at the heart, Bringing the community into everything they do and creating amazing and engaging experiences.

My Glamm

MyGlamm is building a safe place for women to discuss personal care issues and educate themselves on the brand’s products.

The company initiated a co-creation project with POPxo known as My Glammxo.

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Customers have to fill a survey communicating what they want in MyGlamm beauty products, ingredients and colours.

Then, MyGlamm will co-create those beauty products with customers based on their answers.

After the survey, customers receive a coupon code for a Freel liquid lipstick by MyGlamm. And a Rs 500 Gift Card (min buy of Rs 1000) they can redeem on MyGlamm.com.

MyGlamm has a large consumer base of 88 million users, On which My Glammxo can capitalize for products in the style, skincare and health categories.

The platform combines content and commerce, which drives a sense of community.

Besides, MyGlamm runs an exclusive beauty community known as glammSQUAD.

The idea is to bring girls together to talk about MyGlamm's cruelty-free makeup products, beauty tips & tricks.

Sirona

Sirona offers menstrual hygiene products such as menstrual cup kits and sanitary pads.

So far, they have sold over  2 Mn PeeBuddy devices, with half a million women's using their menstrual cups.

Apart from helping women with menstrual hygiene, They ensure environmental sustainability through the distribution of biodegradable pads.

The brand is leveraging a community of Sirona Youthinker campus ambassadors, With an aim to solve feminine intimate and menstrual hygiene issues that are not addressed in the country.

Over 40 Indian colleges have collaborated with Sirona for this ambassador program.

The ambassadors help the company co-create the product and organise fun, engaging events.

Students got an opportunity to put their networking, writing, communication and marketing skills to use

In return, The ambassador receives Industrial Exposure and even Cash Prizes up to Rs. 5,000 depending on their performance.

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Sirona's products are available on its own website and e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Firstcry, and Nykaa.

With an offline presence in Delhi-NCR, including retailers such as Le Marche, Modern Bazaar, Krishna Marche 37,

The company is now planning its expansion into many cities across India.

Diggs

Diggs sells high-quality pet products such as Dog crates and training aid.

The brand is building a like-minded community of pet lovers to solve address issues faced by them.

Pet Parents feel free to ask any pet-related questions: training, nutrition, grooming, wellness.

The community also consists of pet professionals including vets, groomers to share their advice and wisdom.

Yet, Diggs explored and found fun & innovative way to engage their community members.

They applied for a brand channel on GIPHY, So they can create GIF's that customers can use in normal conversation or on their social media.

They decided not to make the gifs branded, Instead, they started using their customer's dog's in GIF's.

This helped them to create some awareness around their brand.

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The brand started posting their customer GIFs onto their Instagram stories, tagging them so that they would be notified.

Not only did the GIFs created excitement, but every customer shared their new dog GIF, thanking Diggs and tagging them in their story.

This resulted in more Social media shares and mentions than previous stories combined.

Rothy

Rothy’s, an environmentally-focused shoe brand identified teachers micro-community as a growth channel.

While their design appeals to a broader audience, customizing a program catering to them led them to strong brand affinity.

The brand runs around half a dozen Facebook communities. With 16,000 members strong community named, Rothy’s Addicts is one of the larger Facebook groups devoted to the brand.

These Facebook communities have a buy/sell/trade (BST) element with each has its own niche.

One of their group specialises in “unicorns" i.e hard-to-find styles that can sell many times between the original price point of $125 to $195.

Members post about their outfits, compare colourways and ask for advice on which pair to keep. And Some show off their “Rothy's wheels,” by arranging their collections in neat circles.

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Rothy’s doesn’t track these groups themselves, Instead, the volunteer manages them.

The close-knit community that has developed around the brand online has been unexpected. Rothy's shoes have a distinct appearance, so people tend to stop and inquire about them.

Often, community members will share their referral links after an in-person word-of-mouth conversation. True believers may shout their referral link from the rooftops as well.

It’s not the category of shoe addicts. It’s the people who feel a part of this brand.

Aryan Veda

They claim to understand the concerns of Indian Women. And addressing these problems through the age-old practice of Ayurveda.

AryanVeda has several Whatsapp groups, each for dedicated beauty problems faced by people.

For example, Teenagers with acne issues are added into a group specific to their concern.

Community members can ask questions, get access to exclusive content and product offers.

Through its community, The brand is trying to communicate its mission of supporting its customers to unleash and express their inner beauty.

Conclusion: How to build your D2C Community?

What do these brands all have in common?

  • People crave social interaction, particularly with others who share similar tastes and interests. Brand owned community gives customers this sense of belonging.
  • Customer-generated groups are also a fantastic source of new information for DTC brands. Your brand community will provide you with plenty of honest data and feedback.
  • DTC brand communities and forums serve as a virtual customer service department. Customers can use the community to ask questions, troubleshoot problems, and get answers.

Creating a strong, active community is challenging and time-consuming. Yet, getting it right can have significant benefits for your direct-to-consumer business.