WFA & STATSIT Research Study: Know How to build successful online brand communities to deliver growth

Online brand communities can deliver brand consumer engagement, loyalty and become a major force for driving revenue. Earlier this year, WFA and social media experts, STATSIT, started investigating how brands can connect with their customers in more meaningful and effective ways online.

STATSIT’s SocialEcho methodology was used to demonstrate how the recipe for effective community building strategies need to take into account three major forces; people, energy and influence.

The research includes insights for all brand marketers seeking to develop successful brand communities online. It also offers a deep dive into food and beverage brands in Indonesia by way of a case study and identifies which food and non-alcoholic beverage brands are best succeeding in developing online communities in one of the world’s fastest growth markets and what they can do to improve.

“From the case study there are lessons and insights for all brand marketers looking to develop thriving communities online, not just in SE Asia but globally.”, says WFA’s Director of Communications Will Gilroy.

“Getting a simple understanding of what works and what doesn’t work for a successful community is not an easy task for a brand. SocialEcho will do exactly this, by deriving insights and KPI’s from over 30 different attributes – everything benchmarked against competitors. On top of the actionable recommendations, SocialEcho is also helping brands to measure the Social ROI in a new way.”, explains STATSIT’s Head of Research Mikael Erola.

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Some of the key insights:


The Danone water brand AQUA tops the SocialEcho ranking with 15.5 points, but still missed almost half of it’s potential. AQUA was followed very closely by the instant noodle brand Indomie and Coca-Cola, all within 0.3 points from each other. Each of the three brands had their own strong points with AQUA being particularly strong in Influence. However, even the best placed brands showed room for improvement.



Social communities were a one-way-street for most of the brands observed. Especially in Twitter, 7 out of the 10 brands in the ranking had no communal behavior in the N=200 sample analysed for the study. This is an indicator for how challenging it is for brands to reach the customers attention and energy in the constant stream of messages the consumer is subjected to. The development of a symbiotic 2-way ecosystem requires not only a constant flow of attractive content, but also a sense of identification with the community. Only this can elevate the community above the level of a mere advertising channel.



Indomie stood out as having most fans as followers. A community has to consist out of different archetypes, but fans, who demonstrate personal conviction are the most useful ones. STATSIT classifies the users in 5 archetypes: Autocrats, Fans, Ranters, Reactives, and Deal Hunters. While none of these archetypes is per se unwanted – not even the ranters – only the fans provide a positive dynamic on their own.



The brands need to see their communities as a long term relationship with the clients, who follow them. A brand is asking the community member for two of the sparsest resources in the modern society: Time and attention. To get this, they need to give something in return.

This obviously means providing great content. But great content needs to go beyond great creatives. It is also important to address the user on a personal level. The Coca-Cola name-can campaign managed to do that which is one of the reasons for the high ranking in the study.

But even with the best content, a true community also needs time to develop. It needs right people, positive energy and influence outside the community too.

The consumer will need to have a sense of identification with the community itself before the brand can expect activities, that bring the ecosystem on another level. It is not enough for the brand to just talk, it also needs to listen and react. It needs to give the consumer the impression, that they are taken seriously and their needs are attended to, even if this can’t happen on a one-to-one personal level in a community of thousands of members.


SocialEcho helps to measure the value of yours and the competitors communities:

Building a successful community needs a systematic approach. Research study presented a new concept called SocialEcho: a research method and a KPI set helping brands to focus on the right actions – and know from whom in the market it can learn the most.

  1. One universal score that measures your social performance, across all major social channels and benchmarked
  2. Helps you to focus your social efforts on what your audience really wants
  3. Actionable recommendations delivered every month to unlock brand growth through social


Contact us to get SocialEcho to work for your brand.


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