Community is perhaps the single greatest force that draws us and binds us. Apple has been a master of community. The company gives you a sense of belonging to something that feels greater than yourself. The biggest challenge for any company is to create this sense of belonging among its customers. Although technology is making some aspects of community building much easier, it’s still no replacement for the bond that gets created during face-to-face interaction.
“I think that’s where the human communication comes in,” says Angela Ahrendts, former CEO of London-based Burberry who now runs Apple’s retail operations. “I don’t care how advanced technology gets. I don’t think that there’s anything that can replace looking someone in the eyes, touching their hand, you know? I don’t care how many millions of Facebook friends you have, it doesn’t give you the same feeling. So, I do think that it’s getting back to this incredible human connection--and isn’t that how incredible things happen as well?”
Ask this: Do your customers feel they are part of a community? Do you nurture and respect that community?