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Chapter 12. Community. Community. Community. The concept of community means an open partnership between management and customers where the customers feel a sense of belonging to the organization.

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The concept of community means an open partnership between management and customers where the customers feel a sense of belonging to the organization.

Value in brand communities is interactively co-created by companies and consumers, rather than merely exchanged between them.


What is it like to be a part of a community?



  • If you really enjoy a community, why is it hard to leave?
  • Why are you willing to work through problems in your own community, rather than just leave?
  • Social bonds, personal rapport, & trust
  • You learn to be tolerant and exhibit goodwill to those in the community—and you communicate more freely about problems.
community model
Community Model

Satisfying Community Experience

  • Management Partnering
  • Proactive Customer Service
  • Membership Reward Programs
  • Membership Value
  • Customization
  • Website Community
management partnering
Management Partnering
  • The fan’s level of participation during the exchange determines the level of the fan’s satisfaction with the service and the community
  • Operational benevolence reflects an “underlying motivation to place the consumer’s interest ahead of self-interest…that is operationalized in visible behaviors that unambiguously favor the consumer’s interest, even if a cost is incurred in the process.
  • “We’re partners.” Within the community concept, teams should be more production-focused (viz., the product is a strong community) with fans as actors in the co-creation of value.
  • Management can develop a community level partnership by facilitating open lines of communication between fans.
management partnering1
Management Partnering

Management Partnering means that value is interactively co-created by management and fans united together in their goal to serve the welfare of the community.

  • The team must assume the role of community initiator.
  • A social constellation is a link between the fans, the team, and other fans that provides the fan with a consciousness that each belongs.

What fan clubs or memberships provide examples of management partnering? Give examples.


Operational benevolence

Open lines of communication

Production focus on strong community

customer service
Customer Service
  • What is the difference between reactive and proactive service?
  • How would you describe excellent responsive service quality? What do you look for in good customer service?
  • What happens in a service encounter after a fan experiences poor service? How does this influence the rest of the visit?
  • For the last bad service you received, what could they have done to prevent it?
employee empowerment
Employee Empowerment
  • employees’ unwillingness to effectively address the situation.
  • Trust is the key to everything….
  • Fear is the crippling agent…
  • What is the source of the majority of service failures?
  • Why do you think organizations fail to empower employees? What might stop you from doing so if you were a manager?
proactive service
Proactive Service
  • Anticipate the customers’ needs,
  • Accept responsibility for solving problems before they happen,
  • Act to prevent problems, and
  • Ante-up before being asked.

Give an example of a possible customer service problem a team might have with a season ticket holder, group sales customers, a suite owner, or a sponsor.

How could the team employ the 4 A’s of proactive service?

membership rewards programs
Membership Rewards Programs

100 Points: 50% Off Ticket Voucher (good for up to 4 tickets priced $14

200 Points:UltraStar Movie Pass and a 20% Off Voucher for Lolita's at the Park

350 Points: Exclusive Frequent Friar Pin for your lanyard

500 Points: Behind the Scenes Tour of beautiful PETCO Park

700 Points: Exclusive Frequent Friar 'Resort-Style' Beach Towel

850 Points: Select a Padres Promotional Item

1000 Points: Invitation to Field Day on Sunday, October 3, 2010 - Play on the field like the pros!

Evaluate the Frequent Friars Club:

  • Provides a feeling of participation and interaction?
  • Will fans anticipate future awards?
  • Will fans have a sense of belonging?
  • Are the rewards highly desirable by “true” fans?
  • Will fans feel valued not targeted?
managing the relationship
Managing the Relationship
  • What is the optimal email frequency for members to receive from the club?
  • What does it depend upon?
  • Why is Nike more successful than Under Armor or Adidas?
email quality
Email Quality




membership value
Membership Value

Select the a metro area that has at least four major league franchises.

What could one of those teams do to increase perceived membership value so as to attract more fans to their community?

How could they provide membership legitimacy?

How could the team increase relational and informational switching costs?

  • Membership value represents the additional attributes added to a service for those who have extended relationships with the team.
  • Membership in the community must represent clear value from an external perspective relative to competition and relative to non-members.

What can we learn from Disney?

  • Customization implies the creation of products and services for individual and group customers.
  • Customers want control over what they do.
  • Customer preferences for communication methods vary—act accordingly.
website community
Website Community
  • Content is King.
  • Fans must feel a part of the community.
  • Maintaining freshness by continuously updating, making it easier to use, and improving the physical appeal of the firm’s website is an effective part of developing community.
  • Websites expand geographic boundaries.

What can we learn from the Phoenix Suns?

we were born to unite with our fellow men and to join in community with the human race cicero
We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race. ~Cicero