The powerhouse brands on the future will be less dependent on capital investment or kick-ass creative ideas. Instead they will leverage the power of their community. As a resource, the community offers greater risk and hence greater return.
Martin Lindstrom at ClickZ: Community Brand-Builders: Join 'Em.
Without sharing, listening, and compatible matching, eBay, Amazon, Weight Watchers, and any other community-based brand would struggle to survive. Consider whether your brand ticks yes to each of these questions: Is your brand based, or could it be based, on trust? Can your users share what's on their minds, not only with you but with all your customers? How easy is it for your users to not only find a match with your brand but also make your brand match their needs?
Old-school brands will opt out at this point. But modern brands still have choices. Seize that choice now. Who knows? In a few years, your community options may be taken up by other brands who nurtured their communities by trusting 'em, hearing 'em, and matching 'em.