One of the most basic needs human beings have is feeling loved. One of the ways where this feeling stems from is a place, or people who make us feel like we belong to, or are a part of something.
Take a moment to think, why does returning home after a long tiring day feels good? Why does the construct of home makes us feel good?
It is due to our innate desire of belonging and associating with a group. This desire has its roots in medieval age because it is since then that we hang around in tribes (community) and used to search for food together. Now if you think you can forgo this desire, I bet you cannot.
Your family has something in common apart from DNA, that is you all share same last name. You belong to the last name tribe. What does following a religion, or religious practice gives you? A tribe, a community that you’re a part of.
We have evolved to be a part of a community, and have been part of various communities all our life. Our school, our college , universities, professional courses all of these are communities in itself that we’re a part of. This fulfills our desire, gives us a safety net in the form of sense of belonging to a community.
Taking this mental model (idea) further many businesses have flourished. The power of community is such that it can make you purchase things that you don’t need now, won’t even require in the future, and probably would never even use it. But you would still buy them as you’re part of the community and people you associate with are endorsing or buying it. Nothing bad in that, but that’s how things work.
Pinduoduo is a China based company which has pioneered community based buying and made a whole business out of it. For context it clocked a revenue of $15 Bn in year ending FY22. Now it sells goods at a cheaper rate for community buys than for individual buys, and there are other tweaks in the model but the core idea of business is use power of community. Sell to community leaders who become a spoke to Pinduoduo (the hub), and then they in turn can sell a discounted price to others (small ticket size) while they earn small commission on the same.
Apple is another example of community belonging. iPhone users have their own cult which they use to get the feeling of belonging to the iPhone users community, BlackBerry had done the same with BlackBerry messenger.
Now obviously saying building community to engage people is the only factor responsible for their success is wrong. But did engagement, and sales increase due to using the concept? High chances answer is yes
The idea sparked in me when over the weekend I went for an investors meetup hosted by Multipie, a Mumbai based start up embracing the power of community to engage investors across the globe interested in Indian investment markets. I met investing enthusiast as young as 18 yrs, now that is the power of creating communities.
As a thought exercise notice all that you do throughout the day, and how many activities involve being a part of the community. Also if you have a business idea, try to use the concept and you might see much better engagements.