How We Gather, a study from Harvard Divinity School, teaches us that people are thirsting for community. To feel connected. This is where the loyalty is shifting. This isn’t just a trend like when people had to have a swatch or drive a VW bug to feel like you’re part of something. This is much deeper. These groups, created for a specific reason, are helping people define what they do, who they are and where they belong. It what makes people alive, connected, meaningful. If you can align your brand that is accepted by a community likes this, your brand won’t just be something they consider, it will be something they will accept into their lives without question. Do this and you’re golden. You’ll be well on your way to using communities to be a powerful way to advertise for your product.

Sports communities get more eyeballs than stadiums

In the beginning, teams played in stadiums with ads all over the walls. It was an easy way for brands to have their products right in front of thousands of fans for hours on end. Then radio and tv came to run commercials. Players endorsed products. But now, with the rise of the need for communities, sports has created a new trend: fans now have as much influence as players, fan groups use social media to get more attentive eyeballs than stadiums and the pack mentality of these fans means they all follow one another like lemmings. One group, called PANTON294 represents the Dodgers in mind blowing ways and have become so big even the team leans on them for help. Getting them to endorse your product is a huge influence. But it doesn’t stop there. These groups travel, eat and sleep as one. So, it’s not just sports based products that can cash in. It’s anything. So, if you’re looking to make a huge dent quicky, connect with a sports community. You could be cheering for them instead of your team.

Fitness groups actually get others to love your product

CROSSFIT and SOULCYCLE. If you haven’t been, you’ve probably had a friend or three tell you they can’t hang out because they MUST go to one of them. And, they weren’t lying. These groups, if you can even call them that, have such a huge pull, unity and camaraderie that they actually make one another show up. And if you don’t, they call you out and call you in. What’s more important than that? It works. People listen to one another and fall in line. That is a huge huge amount of influence. So, you can just imagine if your product becomes one with one of these groups. If they wear your shoes, drink your drink, eat your food or anything you’re anything. Imagine all this loyalty pulling people to like it’s Jupiter. What’s more… it isn’t going anywhere. These people clearly stick. So, get your product in deep with one of these groups and your bottom line will be as fit as the people who are buying in.

Travel communities with a purpose: Could it be to sell your products?

These are groups who come together with a real goal: They discuss meaningful aspects of life, how to grow and improve their self. It’s actually quite amazing and rewarding for those who take part. One such group is Millennial Trains Project (MTP) which leads crowd-funded train

journeys across America for diverse groups of young innovators who are thrown together for 10 days and 3,000 miles. Each learning journey combines personal development and shared discovery through mentor-led seminars and participant-led projects. Applicants get on board by pitching a project they want to advance in one of the communities where the train stops, and then racing to crowdfund the cost of their ticket.  Brands like Whole Foods are already creating projects like this. But you don’t have to create. All you have to do is connect and sponsor. Donate. Anything to get behind this incredible trips and have a large group travel with your product, sit around and talk while drinking your product or even figuring out ways to improve your company. Connect with them and you’ll be connecting with much more than just the America they are all seeing.

LIVE IN THE GREY is the type of group that can help your company live in the black.

These incredible groups were founded to help those who join them to gain more work life balance. There is actually one called 7 cups of tea ( got a tea?) or Next Door by State Farm ( like a good neighbor). Of all the groups, this is one that may appeal most to a workaholic like small business owners. Not just because it would be nice to have a few moments of balance, but also because these groups can do wonders for your brand or product. Imagine how much joy you can associate with. How much happiness your product can create. There are thousands of brands that come to mind that can be part of this incredible movement. Headphones, cooking products, music, athletic wear… the list is endless. The power and draw people will have to find new ways to relax, find meaning, escape is incredible. So, it’s your job to tap into it. Connect with one of these groups and you’ll find as much joy as these folks are.

Camp Grounded is just one of the groups that can have your profits go sky high

Camp Grounded is a summer camp for adults. Offered as a time for play, creativity and community, Camp Grounded caters to millennials who want to turn off their cell phones and be their true selves in the outdoors. ‘Disconnect to reconnect’ is the motto, and work talk is explicitly prohibited. Instead, the focus is on making space for being human: personal freedom, creative thinking, and making friends. Elements like the gourmet, sustainable food and wellness programming speak the language of millennials, but the organization promotes its inclusivity in being a place for people of all ages and demographics to come celebrate what it means to be alive. The success of Camp Grounded indicates a strong desire for childlike creativity, play, and fun among a generation of tech-savvy young adults who were tightly-scheduled as kids and grew into a hookup culture by middle school. So, if you make a camping product, outdoor gear, toy, sports, anything that brings out the child in a grown-up. These groups are for you.

How to get connected to a group that is this connected?

Well, this simple list can get you started if you’re lucky enough to find one that work for you. You can reach out to them directly. Odds are a group this size already has a marketing director who will probably have packages ready to offer you.  But then you have to reach out and hope they don’t already have a deal in place with a brand or product like yours. HOLLYFY is a marketplace that will instantly match you with influencer groups that can boost your sales in no time. You’ll harness this same power of loyalty without all the work of finding it yourself

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