By Sally Mildren, CEO & Chief Strategist, Boss Lady Consulting, “How Brand Communities Change the World”.

The U.S. Surgeon General recently released an 80+ page report titled “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation“. The report identifies that loneliness and isolation represent a profound threat to our health and well-being. In fact, it states that loneliness and isolation have more impact on a person’s health than “smoking 15 cigarettes a day”. Talk about a gut-wrenching statistic. However, this study only fuels my desire to help organizations recognize the importance that brand communities play in their company culture, their interactions with one another and their customers, and recognize the power of community and belonging.

The Power of Community in the Workplace

My first thoughts after reading this report went to the many of us who are working remotely. While I love the freedom and flexibility that remote work offers to my life and that of my staff, I couldn’t help but think about people managers and the important role they take in business.

What is your business doing to ensure social connection and community with your remote teams?  How is your leadership empowered, equipped, and operationalizing a commitment to the health and well-being of your team? Are you checking in often? Daily? Are you looking at more than just the key performance indicators (KPIs)?

This report is a call to everyone to make the small changes necessary to stem the tide of loneliness in our world.  What can you do today to reach out to someone – your family, a neighbor, a colleague?  It starts right there.

But I also believe it opens a unique opportunity for brands to consider their target audiences. Is there a space where your business can help meet the needs of your target audience?

How Brand Communities Impact Your Business

One of our clients serves families in the healthcare space with a very niche program to help children with learning to eat orally after tube feeding. The private community we have built online is uncanny. With thousands of members, there is 60-100% daily engagement of that membership – in a free group – on a social media platform. That tells me that the group is meeting a deep need for the audience – to connect and be seen and understood. The amount of user-generated content (UGC) in that group is inspiring and provides hope to thousands of other families…and a place to connect with families all over the globe who “get me”.

It’s a model I believe many other businesses can follow.

There’s never been a more powerful time to be a human-centric brand. I believe we all can make a difference and help turn the tide on this public health issue. The culture of our agency works hard to place humans and their health at the center of everything we do.

What do you think? How is your business making sure your humans are ok?

About the Author

Sally Mildren, MA, is the CEO & Chief Strategist of Boss Lady Consulting. Sally is our Boss Lady and passionately believes YOU are the center of our work. Her experience running marketing and CX for organizations, Fortune 50 companies, and non-profits has created strong ROI and growth. Sally has a Master’s in Communication and Leadership. She has led teams in marketing, community engagement, public relations, communications, business development, operations, customer service, call centers, and customer experience for over 20 years.


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