How you can grow sales by building a stronger brand community


Here are some tips we’ve accumulated to help you strengthen your brand community:

Create meaningful content

Many organisations produce content solely for advertising purposes, but this often comes at the detriment of building a community. People tend to block out advertising material, or anything they deem to have too strong of a sales push. On the other hand, if your content is engaging, helpful and shows you really care about your product or service, your customers are far more likely to follow you, regularly interact with your material and even share it with their friends. If you’re unsure whether your content is adding value, simply ask: ‘If I were a customer, would I be truly interested in viewing this?’ If the answer is no, it’s probably time to reconsider the kind of material you’re producing.

Know your audience

We live in an era of personalisation. It’s essential to customise your communications to ensure individuals only see the information they’ll be interested in. If the option is available, why not tailor your message to specific individuals to ensure they get the most out of your communications? You can segment customers into groups that would benefit from a unique offering – for example, location, sector, purchase history, browsing habits or gender by reviewing the analytics data you already have about them. By feeling like your message has been tailored specifically to them, studies show that customers are much more likely to engage with you and become a part of your brand community.

Always be authentic

No longer do brands have to look authentic, but they also have to be authentic. Today’s socially conscious and tech-savvy consumers expect the brands they endorse to be honest, transparent, deliver on their promises and to remain true to their identities. They are far more likely to join brand communities that speak to human experiences, appear passionate about what they believe in and are willing to accept their faults. On the other hand, if these expectations aren’t met, criticism can spread like wildfire across social networks, devastating your credibility and making it near impossible to build a strong community. Remember, your credibility is one of your most valuable commodities, so use it wisely.

Cabrini: A case study in Aged Care


When it comes to Aged Care, having a strong brand community doesn’t just benefit sales, but can significantly enhance quality of life for elderly people, which makes this extra important. Last year, Cabrini Care approached Fish Tank Creative to develop a multi-channelled communications strategy. By focusing on open and nurturing communications, our approach enabled closer communication between families, residents and staff. Here are some of the features we introduced to help build a stronger brand community for Cabrini:

A brand awareness campaign
Fish Tank Creative engaged the local community with a campaign of beautifully designed newsletters, articles, photography, blogs and Facebook posts. Not only did these provide important information and updates about day to day happenings, but they also emphasised the warm spirit of Cabrini, offering a glimpse into moments of happiness, laughter and joy.

Website redevelopment
We introduced a host of new, interactive web features to better engage families and members of the community. These included:

  • A monthly events calendar that updates in real time, helping keep families in the loop about activities during the month.
  • The “message a resident” feature, which allows users to send a personalised message or greeting to any resident, helping make their day.
  • An online booking channel, offering families the opportunity to book out the family dining space for special quality time with their loved one.

Information on the website and search engines has also been redeveloped for user-friendliness, ensuring the community has the best possible access to information.

As a result of this new approach, Cabrini says it now enjoys improved communication of important information and activities. But beyond this, the changes have also led to a more vibrant, open and engaged community, helping bring residents, staff and families closer than ever before.

Need help building a stronger brand community? Merryn Bourne Creative can work closely with your unique brand to develop an integrated marketing communication strategy. For more information, contact us today.


Are load times slowing your business down?


It’s common for businesses to prioritise sleek design, nifty functions or extra content over fast load times when building a website. Having all these added bells and whistles can be an asset to your brand, helping you to stand out against competition and attract customers’ attention. But if they begin to encroach on your website’s speed and efficiency, there’s a point where they’ll stop making your customers happy and start slowing sales down. Not convinced? Amazon reports show that just a one-second improvement in page speeds yields seven per cent growth in conversion rates and a ten percent overall increase in sales – proof that speed is a big deal.

Here are the main areas of your business load speeds may be influencing:

Customer experience

Research shows that when a website runs efficiently, we perceive the brand to run with equal efficiency, leading to better trust and improved customer retention. Alternatively, slow load speeds can kill the browsing experience. After all, how frustrating is it when a site lags for what feels like a lifetime when you’re just trying to access basic information? A website could be beautifully designed and have awesome interactive features, but at the end of the day, if it is too slow, users will simply shut the tab and switch to a competing site. In these situations, the business is not only at risk of losing a sale, but also a repeat customer, which is a big opportunity cost. Remember, consumers, value their own time above all else, which is why a smooth user experience should always be first priority.

Search rankings

While many people expect loading times to influence user experience, few anticipate how much they can also affect search engine ranking algorithms. There are two factors influencing this. Firstly, Google searches have user engagement indexes that track how many potential customers are engaging with the content on a website. So if people keep dropping off a page shortly after opening it, Google will think something illegitimate is going on, placing the site lower in its rankings. Secondly, if the search engine is too slow to connect to the data on a particular web page in time, it will simply ignore the content, leaving the site out of search results, no matter how good its other SEO efforts are. And as you’re aware, search rankings have a large impact on web traffic, which is a crucial driver of sales.

Here are some simple tips to help improve your page loading speeds:

Compress your pages

Large pages are bulky and slow to download. The best way to speed pages up is to zip them, which reduces their bandwidth, improving download speeds by up to seventy percent (according to Yahoo).

Optimise images

Large images take too long to load, but small images are too low quality, which is why striking a perfect balance is key.

Enable browser caching

Caching temporarily stores data on visitors’ computers, keeping them from having to re-download it each time they visit your page.

Minimise CSS

Excess or unnecessary code can really slow download your speed. It’s important to regularly sift through your coding and make reductions where possible. You can also copy and paste CSS into tools like CSS Minimiser, which will optimise your stylesheet automatically.

The Merryn Bourne Creative team are experts at building websites that are both beautifully designed and quick to load. For more information about improving the functions of your site, contact us today.