I recently found a great article on BNET.com that epitomizes building a brand community and how to cater to that community. The article entitled Five Branding Secrets of Lady Gaga & Apple, go through how the eccentric singer and the innovate computer company create their brands.
1) Cultivate a Fanatical Fan Base: Fans of either Lady Gaga or Apple can be considered a cult by many measures. The article suggests a niche market that is catered and fed to, the gay community and the artist/music community respectively.
2) Be Technically Competent: Once you wow people with your marketing and style, you need to have something substantial for them to stick around. You can not build a community without providing a valuable product or service.
3) Got Vision?: Find a place where you can be the best even if it is a narrow piece of the market. Lady Gaga mixes glam rock with simple melodies and Apple builds innovate machines that creates a better life. Even here at Design the Planet, we’ve developed a division that specializes in construction website design & brand marketing – The Brand Constructors.
4) Simplicity Sells: Lady Gaga keeps her beats & melodies simple and Apple has a clean look and their advertising is just as clean and simple. Their brand communities known who each brand is even though they have surprises with different wardrobes or products.
5) Packaging Matters: Every time we purchase an Apple product, we are amazed by their simple, well-designed packaging. Apple’s packaging is direct and stylish no matter the piece. Lady Gaga says that she is thinking about her wardrobe on stage when writing music. She even has her own design team called the Haus of Gaga.
I would only add Be Different to the list. If you do not offer a service or product that is different than your competitor, than you are only competing on price and that is a losing battle. Lady Gaga and Apple both stand out when looking at their peers.