Brand Community Podcast
Fostering Product Innovation through Community & Customer Empathy with Charlene Li, Founder & Senior Fellow at Altimeter Group
In this episode we welcome Charlene Li, Founder & Senior Fellow at Altimeter, a Prophet Company. For the past two decades, Charlene has been helping people see the future and thrive with disruption. She couples the ability to look beyond the horizon with pragmatic advice on what actions work today, helping executives and boards recognize that companies must be disruptive to compete, not just innovate.
Charlene’s an expert on digital transformation, leadership, customer experience, and the future of work. Her perspectives from advising over 100 global companies such as Aetna, Bose, GE, Philips, and Southwest Airlines provide insights to support a winning strategy for disruptive growth, and a plan to identify and seize an opportunity no one else has the audacity or confidence to reach for.
Charlene is currently a Senior Fellow at Altimeter and her current research there focuses on digital transformation and transformational leadership. She has authored six books, including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership, and the critically acclaimed book, Groundswell. Her book The Engaged Leader is a call to business leaders to adapt to the digital landscape and revolutionize their relationships by connecting directly with their followers. Her latest book, The Disruption Mindset, lays out a blueprint for disruption. Charlene’s next book focuses on new leadership capabilities need to drive transformation change in today’s fast-moving environment.
She is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USAToday, Reuters, The Associated Press and has shared her insights on 60 Minutes, The McNeil NewsHour, ABC News, CNN and CNBC. Charlene has inspired a wide audience as the keynote at conferences such as the World Business Forum, World Economic Forum, and South by Southwest.
Together we cover:
- The disruption mindset and how it relates to growth
- Tactical ways organizations can invest in the future and push down uncertainty
- Aligning your entire organization around empathy maps
- Why it’s important to gather all your customer-focused people and elevate them so you can hear the voice of customers
- Understanding audiences and why social listening is a gold mine
- Actionable approaches and sequences to digest information coming from your community
- Facebook’s innovation cycles explained
- How listening & empathy helped turn Comcast around and ended up elevating their marketing & branding
- Charlene’s thoughts on what platforms to look into and how to filter through the multitude of options
- Searching for the needle in the haystack vs. trying to answer one question at a time
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16. 3 Pillars for Strong Communities with Nicole Saunders, Manager of Community Engagement at Zendesk23:59In this episode we welcome Nicole Saunders, the Manager of Community Engagement at Zendesk. She oversees all of its community programs to help set strategy, define policy and promote their support communities to their users. She collaborates with several internal teams on customer support, product development, training, customer education, content marketing, knowledge sharing, social media, and data, with the goal of increasing customer connections, professional development, and relationship with Zendesk.Previously, Nicole helped grow Jaunt, a VR startup in Silicon Valley, and was also the lead on the launch of Built In Colorado, an aggregator for the tech startup community there, having founded the 'Built-In Brews' networking series.Together we cover:- The differences between marketing & community- How Zendesk approaches community management and Nicole’s day to day work- Exciting things about going all-in on virtual events- Thinking strategically about what kind of events are gonna stay relevant for which audiences- The importance of grouping members based on industry and sector instead of location- Why giving community members the ability to take leadership and form connections with one another has been a huge success- Hybrid events and future formats- What are the most important KPIs and how to understand what really matters when building communities- How user badges helped grow a team of community moderators with subject matter expertise that other members can trust- The secret to working cross-function with other teams- Key pillars of successful communities: helpful content, helpful people, and helpful leadership- The knowledge capture model
15. Building Community in an Age of Virtual Events with Sarah Shewey, CEO of Happily25:44In this episode we welcome Sarah Shewey, the CEO of Happily - a network of over 50,000 event producers, technologists and creatives who produce world-class virtual and live events. Shewey began her event career in 2002 at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater, earning the title of “Best Party of the Year” by the Boston Globe. Her work in creating sustainable weddings and innovative events has been covered by the Associated Press, the BBC, NPR, and Forbes. Sarah is a founding producer of TEDActive and board president of LA’s original Internet radio station dublab.comTogether we cover:- Sarah’s journey to building Happily- Bringing diversity in the event space by creating teams of independent individuals and small businesses- Remote and distributed work- Carbon neutral and waste free events- Why it’s important to design friendly and inclusive events- The power of identity, trust and being visibly there in virtual events- Treating online events as a new genre of media- Combining a mixture of movies, memes and movement making- The difference between marketing and community building- Innovative ways to engage an audience and cut through the noise
14. How Lyft Leveraged Community Building to Become a Leading Rideshare App with Sara El-Amine, Head of Community Engagement20:50In this episode we welcome Sara El-Amine - Head of Public Engagement at Lyft, where she oversees driver, passenger, and local non-profit engagement for the company, as well as all Public Affairs and Social Impact programming. She is proudly Lebanese-American and Muslim American, and was raised in the US, Spain, and Lebanon.Prior to joining Lyft, Sara El-Amine had an extraordinary career in community organizing; ranging from an entry-level role, to an executive director role for the Obama campaign. After reading Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope, Sara quit her job, drove to the Iowa headquarters in 2008, and offered to help. It was a bold decision that paid off. With time, Sara rose to the National Director role of Obama’s reelection campaign and served as executive director of Organizing for Action (OFA), leading Obama’s citizen-led movement for change across the U.S.Today, as Head of Community Engagement at Lyft, Sara has jumped into the business world with the same enthusiasm she had for her organizing work. Together we cover: - Sara’s day to day life in her community engagement function at Lyft- Her definition of success and how to quantify that- Where do you need maximum favorability and how to spot trends looking at all the layers of data- How their community initiatives evolved pre and post-pandemic- Why it’s become so important to stay on the front lines of racial justice locally, while building a dynamic response at a national level- How Sara’s work in the public sector has translated to what she’s doing now to galvanize communities- What it’s like to organize and deploy the team at Lyft to serve communities- How local staff can drive local strategies under an umbrella of company-wide principles- What other companies she thinks do a great job at community management
12. Tactical Ways to Scale Business Through Community Development with Richard Millington, founder of FeverBee29:04In this episode, we welcome Richard Millington, the founder of FeverBee, author of Buzzing Communities, and a frequent speaker at online community events around the world. FeverBee uses proven social science to develop successful online and offline communities of customers, fans, and members.Richard is the sole author of the world's most popular online communities blog and the highly rated book, Buzzing Communities, widely cited as introducing best practices into developing successful online communities.His unique focus is on cracking the 'social code' behind successful social groups. FeverBee's approach combines cutting-edge social psychology with advanced data insights and a library of repeatable case studies. Over the past 13 years, Richard has helped to develop over 150+ successful communities, including those for Google, The World Bank, Oracle, Amazon, Autodesk, Lego, The United Nations, Novartis, and many more.Together we cover: - Why it’s critical for SOME companies to leverage the power of community.- What organizations do a great job at building their communities.- The benefits you get by starting small and having a clear strategy to expand beyond that.- The psychology that keeps people coming back.- Richard’s fascination with finding a valuable goal for specific communities within the many directions they can develop.- Finding the right balance between following your community and leading it.- Ways to shift approaches when an unexpected event happens.- Online vs offline events and how each can offer unique opportunities.- Understanding what value & success is in the context of building communities.- Why communities have to offer value that people can only get there, in order to thrive.- How communities can be the most cost-effective way to scale a business.- Concrete examples and actionable advice to get massive wins.- Richard’s framework for building community strategies.- Finding the sweet spot to truly become indispensable to your audience.- Specific tactics and secrets to building trust & long-lasting relationships with members.- Why it’s so important to do your research.
11. Driving Retention and Evangelism Through Community with Heather McNair, Chief Community Officer at Higher Logic26:54In this episode we welcome Heather McNair, Chief Community Officer at Higher Logic. She brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, technology, community management and customer engagement to her role, where she oversees the strategic services and education teams. Heather has been running online communities since 2008, before there was widespread adoption in most business sectors. With few resources available to draw from, she discovered and built techniques that serve as the foundation of many of Higher Logic’s best practices today.Prior to this current role, Heather was Director of Client Success, then Vice President of Engagement Strategy, where she built and expanded the Managed Services and Education teams.Previously, she launched and managed two successful communities in her roles as vice president of marketing, membership, and strategic technologies at the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination, and senior manager of member engagement at the Medical Group Management Association.Together we cover: - Where does community live? Should brands see it as just a marketing channel?- The importance of UGC for a variety of purposes, including SEO.- How community members feel about being watched or sold to.- Segmentation & moving people along the funnel in a meaningful way, breaking everything down into interactions at a very granular level.- Insights into how an engagement ladder works and recognizing where someone is in their journey.- Why it’s important to start smaller asks and build towards nurturing brand evangelists.- Tactical steps to create the domino effect that leads to someone becoming an evangelist.- The importance of proper onboarding.- How much time a community member needs to hang around before posting, and how to use data to distinguish between behaviors & engage appropriately.- User dropout rates and how to nurture community members and grow retention.- How they transformed Broadcom by aligning internal & external stakeholders around building sustainable communities.- Why true customer loyalty happens at the confluence of customer satisfaction & attraction.- Heather drops some valuable insights on how to build customer relationships at scale.
10. Turning Community into Business with Phil Ranta, COO of Wormhole Labs34:59In this episode we welcome Phil Ranta! He is a pioneer of the digital media revolution, working as a pre-YouTube professional web video producer in 2005, video content app creator before the smartphone revolution in 2007, an early exec in the MCN boom with two successful exits, and as the Head Gaming Creators at Facebook and Mobcrush, driving the live streaming and the creator-driven media paradigm shift. Previously, Phil was the Head of Gaming Creators, North America at Facebook, and the Head of Creators at Mobcrush. In both roles, the departments saw significant growth working with top game streaming talent including Ronda Rousey, Disguised Toast, Corinna Kopf, Shroud, and Nate Hill, to name a few.He was the COO of Studio71, one of the world's largest MCNs, growing the network from 1 billion to over 8 billion monthly views in 3 years, with over 1,000 creators.Before S71, Phil joined Fullscreen as the Head of Channel Partnerships, completing his tenure as the VP of Networks. He grew the network to the largest MCN in the world (on comScore) in less than 1 year. He was the recipient of Fullscreen's first "Founders Award" for his role in building the industry-leading company.Currently, as COO of Wormhole Labs, he is helping to build a live simulation of the real world, generated by the power of the crowd, where users navigate the world as avatars to 'Wormhole', or teleport, to locations around the world to meet, chat, shop, and play.Together we cover: - The future post-feed social environments and how Wormhole is building a thriving social community in the metaverse.- Finding the right niche for top streamers, esports, and lifestyle influencers that enables them to develop hyper-premium experiences and transition from creator to business.- What it takes to unlock serious growth, build trust, and the importance of always keeping a personal touch.- Actionable advice for creators on developing their own brand and growing scalable Youtube communities.- Phil’s take on finding the right community-oriented streamers that want to take it to the next level.- Deep dive into how they managed to bring together and grow Randa Rowsie’s very diverse communities while staying true to her personality.- Core elements of community growth.- The importance of knowing your brand and understanding it’s not what your brand wants to be, but what your brand is.- Common pitfalls in building brands.- Growth hacking vs fandom growth.- Why producing valuable content can galvanize communities at scale, while only obsessing about the metrics is not really sustainable.- Phil’s choice of brands that are doing a great job at digital strategies.
9. Growing PowerToFly to Drive Gender Diversity in Fortune 500 Leadership with Lauren Hagerty26:44In this episode we welcome Lauren Hagerty, a passionate community builder looking to forge meaningful connections between humans and brands making a difference. As the Director of Marketing and Community at PowerToFly, a platform that connects Fortune 500 companies and fast growing startups with women who are looking to work for companies that value gender diversity and inclusion, Lauren helps bridge the gap between her brand and people. Before her impact at PowerToFly, she worked as the community marketing manager at Wink Ink, a platform that brings hundreds of products from the best brands together in an easy-to-use mobile app. There, she recreated and revitalized the company’s voice through various public platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and others by creating over 300 original graphics and driving over 5 million views to wink.comTogether we cover: - If marketers really understand the value of community building- Checkpoints for success at extracting value from a two-sided marketplace- Discovering the world of virtual events and how their Chat & Learn program was born- Making people comfortable about uncomfortable topics in both B2B and B2C spaces- Why events are a make or break tool in understanding who your customers are finding the issues that matter to them- Actionable advice & successful tactics for event promotion- The importance of bringing new voices to the community- Insights into tracking & measuring the success of community growth efforts
8. Growing Impact Theory into a Top 10 Business Podcast with Chase Caprio28:58In this episode we welcome Chase Caprio, Marketing Associate at Impact Theory, a mission-based studio focusing on the development of empowering fiction and nonfiction content.Chase graduated from college with little to no prospect of who and what he wanted to become/do. He underwent his own personal path of growth, frantically searching for how he could create the person he wanted to become.In his journey, Chase found the passion for connecting other people to their path of self-fulfillment, working at Impact Theory. Their mission is to pull people out of the Matrix, at scale, by giving them an empowering mindset. Together we cover: The importance of blowing people away with value for free.Important areas that a brand builder should focus on in terms of building a community right now.What metrics are important to reach your end goal and why you should always keep an eye on the data.Actionable insights in how to test the waters and figure out what works/doesn’t workHis experience in choosing the right platforms, testing and adapting to new mediums.Is going with a high production value worth it right now?The best ways to nurture & engage your community.The challenges of moving from community growth to increasing revenue in order to stay sustainable.Exclusive insights into Impact Theory’s efforts to get into the narrative market by developing fiction content.Facilitating interaction between fans and supporting the community to chat about the lessons they’ve learned and the struggles they are having.Distribution tactics and why being uber-consistent is so important.Thanks again to Chase for offering 10% off your first Month to Impact Theory University. You can visit here and use the code ITU10 upon checkout: university.impacttheory.com/?el=brandcommunity