An introduction to community-led growth

An introduction to community-led growth

10 Jul 2024

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This informal CPD article ‘An introduction to community-led growth’ was provided by Product Marketing Alliance, a company founded in 2019 with a mission of uniting product marketers across the globe.

According to the Global Web Index, 76% of people participated in an online community in 2019 (1). In 2024, the average social media usage worldwide amounted to 143 minutes per day (2). With numbers like these, it’s clear that communities - in every shape or form - provide plenty of opportunities for businesses to engage people, create advocates, and increase adoption of their products and services.

This is where community-led growth comes in. This strategy uses communities to build brand awareness, boost brand loyalty, improve communication with your existing and potential customers, improve the experience people have with the brand, and so much more.

Understanding community-led growth

This approach is all about building, nurturing, and engaging communities around a brand or product. These communities can be online forums, social media groups, user groups, etc.—in short, any spaces where people interact, share experiences, and support one another.

By creating a strong sense of community, businesses can create a loyal customer base that not only sticks around but also helps to attract new customers through recommendations, word-of-mouth, testimonials, and more.

What are the benefits of community-led growth?

So, community-led growth allows you to leverage an engaged community where consumers can chat, offer support, and access information or advice - but let’s break down what else communities really do for you and why using them can help your business grow:

  • You get valuable insights and feedback. Engaging with a community allows you to gather real-time feedback directly from customers—this data helps you improve your product, enhance features, understand consumer needs, etc.
  • Increase the engagement. Active communities generate continuous interaction and engagement, such as participation in discussions and events. These can help to keep your brand top-of-mind while building connections with customers.
  • Have cost-effective marketing. Community members often become brand advocates, promoting your products or brand through word-of-mouth. A couple of things that can reduce the need for expensive marketing efforts are user-generated content and testimonials.
  • Network! A vibrant community allows members to network, so the more people join, the better. This can lead to new members and, therefore, exponential growth.
  • Create an authentic brand connection. Communities also foster authentic connections between your brand and your customers, creating a positive brand image and helping you grow your reputation.
  • Members can share knowledge. This is because communities work as support networks where people help each other solve problems and share their experiences and expertise. What this does is reduce the burden on your customer support teams and boost the customer experience.
  • Foster user-driven innovation. Another thing communities do is generate innovative ideas and solutions that you may not have considered.
  • Scale the community. As your community grows, it becomes self-sustaining, with members driving engagement and attracting new users. You can achieve this scalability without having to spend a huge amount of budget on marketing or customer acquisition costs.

These are just some examples of how communities can lead to growth.

Real-life examples of community-led growth

What companies have used community-led growth as a strategy? Many brands have realized the power of community and used it to their advantage. For instance:

Large software company's community

A large software company built a strong community around its platform, offering resources, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer support. This helps them to boost their customer success and loyalty.

Global toy manufacturer’s idea platform

A global toy manufacturer that understands how to use community (and how community-led growth is essential to their business strategy). The brand created a platform where fans can submit and vote on new product ideas (a.k.a., they crowdsource ideas) which keeps the community engaged and also allows them to be creative - this can lead to great innovations they can apply as they develop new products.

Productivity tool's user community

A productivity tool company has a passionate community of users who share templates, tips, ideas, workflows, and more. Having such a community-driven approach helped brand to grow quickly and, most importantly, retain their user base.

Language learning app’s community

A language learning app has an active community of people learning languages who love to help one another through discussions and forums. On top of this, the brand has an ambassadorship program, where customers can organize local events and meetups, promote the app, and more.

Fitness company’s social features

A fitness company uses social features like leaderboard, virtual high-fives, and community hashtags to create a sense of camaraderie among customers. Also, instructors have strong followings, encouraging people to join and stay engaged.


Community-led growth isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a way to drive sustainable growth, foster strong loyalty towards a company, and build a vibrant ecosystem around your brand. Without it, many brands would struggle to build the following they have.

If you don’t have a community yet, consider creating one from scratch (or use an existing platform) to unlock new levels of engagement and success.

We hope this article was helpful. For more information from Product Marketing Alliance, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively, you can go to the CPD Industry Hubs for more articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.




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Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance

Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance

For more information from Product Marketing Alliance Ltd t/a The Alliance, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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