3 takeaways from the rise of Notion’s fanbase for your brand strategy
June 23, 2023
If you don’t already know about Notion, you should and you will.
What makes this platform so interesting to me is how they leveraged a community to build their brand. It's a master class in brand building and community engagement, and I think we can all learn a thing or two from it
Even if you're a small start-up with a nifty product, this applies to you. Even if you've got no real marketing budget, you can learn a lot from Notion’s brand strategy.
Let’s dig in.
Say hi to Notion
Valued at around $10 billion, Notion is a do-it-all workspace that allows you to write, plan, collaborate and get organized – all in one place. We’re fangirls!
Think Google workspaces but all together in a single page. So you can create a database or a calendar or a document or a webpage or a blah blah blah. The list goes on…
It's super intuitive and versatile. That's why entrepreneurs, teams and whole organizations love it. 30 million users to be exact.
But what’s made them grow so fast? Their brand and community.
3 ways to build a community around your brand
A quick stop on Notion’s website and you’ll notice a few things:
Their marketing is incredibly down-to-earth and nerdy 🤓
They use gamification (Notion is fun to use)
The platform is very minimal
This isn’t a mistake. Here are three ways they built community around this platform and solidified that brand:
A literal community
Early on, they noticed some users becoming super fans – people who loved the product so much they couldn't help but share it with others.
Notion wisely decided to invest in these super fans, giving them resources and platforms to express their love for the product.
They selected individuals who were passionate about Notion and gave them the title of "Notion Ambassador." These ambassadors got early access to features, exclusive swag, and the ability to host meetups and webinars. Plus, they were encouraged to share as much as they possibly could about the platform.
They didn't stop there.
They created a licensing program, so experts could offer certified services like consulting and training to other Notion users. This network gave users a place to go when they needed help, and it gave pros a way to monetize their expertise.
They went a step further to arm their Ambassadors and certified experts with resources to share their love for Notion. It’s all in the preparation 💅
You’ve been on social media before. Going viral is easier said than done.
Virality hinges on a couple things like …
alignment with your audience.
mindblowing factor (whether it’s new or controversial)
Notion has exploded in popularity with teams and individuals alike because it’s so easy to show the many use cases of the platform.
Personal to do’s, goals, meetings, portfolios, CRMs. Everything!
I’ve also “converted” all of my friends, who at first resisted but have told me they’ve been using it for their personal lives.
As it relates to the actual platform, its user-friendliness and simple UX/UI have brought more users (including my friends!) in.
Leveraging user-generated content
Notion is a highly visual product. Powerusers can create stunning dashboards, displays and website-like pages. And when Notion shares those with its community and wider audience…
Notion regularly features …
Templates created by users on their website and in their newsletter, giving credit to the creators
Hidden features and day-to-day highlights from employees
This user-generated content showcases the versatility of their product, the super wide variety of uses it can have.
What I love about Notion's strategy is how they recognized the value of their community and found ways to engage with them one-to-one and lift them up.
They didn't just focus on selling a product. They focused on building a community around that product.
And that is a lesson for all of us in how to build a people-centered brand.
We love working with big thinkers, dreamers and doers.
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