What GoPro Can Teach You About Creating an Engaged Community


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Bringing a human dimension to your brand requires a tremendous amount of trust in your product and your customers. Do this well and you will build an incredibly loyal community.

In The Power Of the Earned Brand study by Edelman, Richard Edelman shared these findings:

  • Consumers take seriously the opportunity to connect with brands via a “human face at the company.”
  • Three out of five consumers say brands are not on the right track when it comes to listening and communicating with them.

GoPro – A Community Innovator

GoPro could be just another camera company. Instead, it tells customers to go “Be A Hero” and they use both web and social channels to empower and engage its community to drive brand interactions. By developing brand ambassadors, GoPro has built showcases for its fans to create content and share their GoPro experiences. “It’s our customers’ fascinating content that makes the GoPro Channel on YouTube so engaging”, states Nicholas Woodman, Founder and CEO of GoPro. “There’s no script for the fantastic stories our customers are capturing and sharing every day.”

There is no doubt that the company does connect with consumers; in a short time the brand has earned 8 Million Facebook followers, 4.9 million Instagram followers, 3 Million YouTube followers, and 1 Million Twitter followers.

GoPro lets its consumers take the lead by regularly highlighting videos created by customers on both theirYouTube Channel and on a dedicated area on their website. This offers platforms for consumers to demonstrate their passion for the brand. On their Instagram channel, they post photos as well as short highlights from fan’s video clips.

Though the company’s stock has been down as of late, their 2016 plan includes even greater emphasis on content and connecting with customers, such as its new partnership with PlayStation. Recently, the company also took things to a whole other level with the GoPro Awards which will grant up to $5 million annually to “creators of content that emotionally engages, amazes, or excites…” This new endeavor is devised to “Empower Consumers and Aggregate the World’s Most Engaging User Generated Content.”

“GoPro enables a global movement of self-expression that’s resulting in some of the most compelling user-generated content ever created. The positive impact on our brand and business has been immeasurable. Now we’re excited to start rewarding our customers for their content contributions with GoPro Awards,” said Nicholas Woodman, GoPro’s founder and CEO.

TakeAways for Cultivating an Engaged Community

1. Make Engagement Easy and Fun. GoPro is successful in connecting with consumers because they offer numerous channels and a dedicated area of their site just for submissions. GoPro encourages two way interaction by enabling consumers be proud of their product usage and encouraging others to do the same.

2. Develop Emotional Connections. Tempkin Group has designated 2016, “The Year of Emotion.” “2016 will be an active and exciting year for customer experience, especially as companies begin to tap into the power of emotions.” Conversations are emotional connections with consumers. And, according to Tempkin, “research shows that emotion is the component of customer experience that has the largest impact on loyalty.”

3. A Transaction Is Not A Conversation. 77% of transaction-based loyalty programs fail in the first two years. This according to a study by Capgemini Consulting which also reported that only 25% of loyalty programs reward customers for some form of engagement. Brands need to rethink how they perceive consumer interaction and offer channels to humanize and personalize brand conversations.

In summary, trust your product, empower your customers and build easy and fun venues for engagement and you will achieve the unique power a Community delivers in sales, retention, word of mouth and brand building.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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