5 Great Online Communities You Should Know About

An active, engaged community centred around your brand should be the ultimate goal for most businesses. A community is one of the most powerful ways to connect your customers to you and even more importantly to each other.

Let’s talk you through a few examples of successful communities and what makes each of them great.

You will see that they are all unique, offering their customers different reasons to participate and engage. There is no niche too small to build a community around, create the right environment and just like in ‘Field of Dreams’ – the people will come!


Sephora boast over 300 different brands within the beauty and cosmetics industry. Sold globally they are well known for their customer led approach, working hard to optimise and join up the online and offline, in-store experiences.

In 2017 Sephora launched the Sephora Community. A place for customers to connect with beauty and be inspired by real people as well as talk with experts they can trust.

Sephora’s community strategy is paying off. They have created an area where customers can meet one another and discuss all things related to beauty. It doesn’t matter if a product recommendation isn’t one of Sephora’s – the conversation is happening with Sephora and that guides a deep understanding of the needs and pains of each individual.

One area of the community that really impresses me is the Sephora Gallery. This is where members and Sephora’s products take centre stage. Members can upload pictures of themselves showing their look to other members. The photos uploaded can be easily tagged to show which Sephora products were used to create that look. If it is a look you like Sephora has made the journey toward purchasing the look for yourself simple.

Not only have they created brand ambassadors, Sephora have created a network of real people selling their products for them in a real, honest and trusted way.


Duolingo began in 2009 as a small project between a University professor, Luis von Ahn and one of his PhD students, Severin Hacker.

This small project has grown into a business valued at over $700 million with over 25 million monthly active users all trying to learn a new language through the app or web page.

Duolingo have evolved through an understanding that each user learns in a different way but common difficulties, such as motivation and learning alone can be used to unite them.

The Duolingo Community brings together people from across the world with one goal in mind; to help each other learn.

Conversations are happening between native speakers and complete beginners of a language. Giving users a platform to practice and converse with one another has led to a much more active and engaged userbase. Duolingo users regularly organise and attend meet-ups, where they will practice and continue to develop their new language skills.

As well as the community increasing engagement and improving learning for users it has also served Duolingo to develop new products. If you browse the forums they are packed full of suggestions and ideas to help Duolingo refine their product. In fact, new languages have been added because of the demand shown by the community.

Duolingo created a community that serves their users, keeps them engaged on a platform that allows the creators to continually improve and shape a winning product offering.


If you have looked up how to do an exercise, or even get started in the gym, chances are you have seen something written on bodybuilding.com.

A free and open forum bodybuilding.com hosts a wealth of expert knowledge that is accessed by over 30 million people per month.

Bodybuilding.com is an online retailer of supplements and other fitness products. But its community has been designed to connect any person at any stage of their fitness journey with others.

By encouraging user submissions through gamification, the forum has become one of the premier resources for fitness conversation and questions. Bodybuilder.com can utilise this to stay ahead of all fitness trends and shape their online store accordingly.

Body building itself is a niche topic, but through its use of community Bodybuilding.com has created a platform that connects any individual involved in fitness anywhere in the world. This has led to Bodybuilding.com being one of the most visited fitness websites.


The banking industry has been under a lot of public scrutiny in the last decade. At a time where perceptions of banks are negative and trust that a bank looks out for its customers has eroded Monzo have taken a different approach.

The Monzo Community is built around the idea that Monzo users are part of the company, that their ideas and suggestions will help to build this bank of the future. By creating a feedback loop between developers and customers Monzo are able to test and develop new ideas, making sure they are building things people actually want.

This transparency creates trust with customers something that helps them stand out against their competitors.

Harley Owners Group

In the 1980’s Harley Davidson almost faced financial ruin. Fast forward to today and they are a brand valued at over $7.8 billion.

One of the keys to Harley’s success is their commitment to building a brand community.

Owning a Harley has become a way of life, a shared culture that can be found all over the world. Harley-Davidson achieved this through their community.

Harley have taken a different approach, to be part of the community you must be an owner. To the owner Harley-Davidson have given a place to feel more loyal and engaged with other riders. Regular meet-ups and rides are scheduled bringing together people who not only create more engaged area for one another but also a place to belong. As an outsider looking in, you begin to want a Harley just to join in and be a part of the exclusive community.

Harley-Davidson use these customer driven forums and meet=ups to promote the brand but also as a source of information. They start to react to the ideas of riders as well as work to solve problems these loyal customers might have with their vehicles.

Build Trust

All of these communities are thriving and providing great business returns, from brand evangelism and loyalty through to feedback, information and new ideas. When executed properly, a brand community is a powerful tool but you have to be prepared to provide real value to your users as well as truly engage.

In the long-term, the brands that help us forge meaningful relationships with each other and with their products are going to be best positioned to win the loyalty and trust of customers.

Build Your Own Thriving Online Community with Us!

An active, engaged community around your brand is a powerful way to connect with your customers and foster loyalty. At 4 Roads, we specialise in creating unique, vibrant communities that provide real value to users and drive meaningful engagement.

Ready to transform your brand’s online presence? Let’s build a community that connects, inspires, and grows together. Contact us today to get started!