Why community, authenticity and value are trends that will endure

Beyond this year’s headline-making trends in marketing, there are some insights that are here to last.

According to the 2024 prediction lists, the big trends in marketing in the coming months range from the increasing impact of AI to the Gen Z preference for ‘social as search’. 

Marketing insights like these are often aimed at consumer retail brands, but which of them cross over to make an impact for B2B brands or for membership organisations, for example?

This year at CPL One, among the hype, we can see three drivers that resonate through the headline trends and have particular relevance for our clients and their audiences’ needs: community, authenticity and value. Together, they can work to bring people together around a brand or organisation, in a place they feel they belong.

Community

Communities help us to make sense of our world. From local business meet-ups and YouTube tutorials, to the way we organise our conversations on WhatsApp and Tik-Tok – group activity, shared learning, support and fun are increasingly the ways we make sense of our world and the basis for community-building. 

Fostering and engaging communities can help your business understand customer needs and pain points, leverage brand awareness, boost acquisition and loyalty, and turn customers into brand advocates. Communities, therefore, are an active and responsive mechanism that provides insight and direction for your business.

Finding fresh and relevant ways to support your customer communities should be a priority for supporting your business’s future.

Authenticity 

Authenticity powers togetherness and belonging. A strong community can be a place where people feel they belong together and have a future together, but that doesn’t always mean they share the same backgrounds, experiences, ambitions or abilities. It might seem counter-intuitive, but individuality is vital for the togetherness of any community. 

This is where authenticity comes in. Authenticity is about having the opportunity to be true to ourselves. It’s about supporting our individuality and helping others, so we can all become the people we want to be. 

People join communities when they feel that within that community they can live more authentically. And they leave when they can’t. 

When a business communicates and supports individuals within its customer or member communities in a more personalised, meaningful way, and its offering meets the needs of the individual as well as the group, then it empowers that individual’s sense of authenticity. In turn, that can increase loyalty and engagement. As a consequence, the whole community is strengthened – and so is the value of your product or service.

Value

Value is the real benefit gained from a product or service in relation to the price paid.

In other words, ‘value’ doesn’t directly correlate with ‘cost’ – and offering value for your customer isn’t done through price alone. 

It also means that value-delivery doesn’t end with a conversion at the point of sale or sign-up – it’s an ongoing challenge that must be constantly supported, meeting customer needs throughout your relationship with them. 

Value drivers include:

  • Understanding people’s changing needs and desires 
  • Helping people discover useful solutions and apply them to the challenges they face
  • Offering your support and guidance, and helping them gain support from peers
  • Creating platforms and places for engagement, to encourage a sense of togetherness and belonging
  • Helping people build confidence in how they use your products/services, and in their ability to apply new knowledge and experience and become advocates in what they do

At CPL One, we help clients strengthen their value proposition so their customers come together around their products and services in meaningful and authentic ways. 

That might sound like ‘marketing-speak’, but behind the jargon it’s really about supporting real people doing real things in the real world. When we do that, we help people belong. And that’s not a trend, it’s a principle we can use for future-proofing our businesses.