Online communities feel like magic, but they do not come together by magic!
Sommersemester 2021 / Festo Didactic
Festo Didactic aims to build an online community for its highly innovative e-learning platform Festo LX. However, the pathway to building such a community was yet to be explored. In particular, our project team was proactively and meticulously looking for possible ways to tackle this challenge.
The main objective of the project was to firstly determine if implementing an online community could be beneficial for Festo Didactic and if this is the case, to provide concrete measures on how to successfully build one. On top of that, we were asked to provide information about sustaining such an online community. In this sense, our research focused on a desirable, feasible and viable solution.
Coming from a thorough literature and database research combined with various expert interviews, an analysis of the competitive landscape and analogous as well as distant markets was conducted. On the basis of best practices, trends have also been scrutinized. Finally, in order to provide Festo with practical recommendations, a step-by-step roadmap was created, where five focal steps on how to set up a sustainable online community were identified.
Based on the research that has been conducted, Festo is well advised to implement an online community. However, there are several options to do so. This is why we have identified a brand community as the perfect fit for Festo LX. Meaning that instead of a simple marketing strategy, a holistic business strategy needs to be adopted in order to pursue their high-level goals while lowering the marketing expenses. What is more, through a multitude of interdependent mechanisms, a brand community increases brand awareness and brand loyalty. On top of that, it also facilitates innovation and product development. Another key element is to acquire brand ambassadors to increase popularity among Festo LX users. To sustain the brand community, it is crucial to actively manage it and foster engagement.
To conclude, when setting up a brand community it is of uttermost importance to stimulate the users to generate content and contribute to the community. Following the roadmap that we have created, building and sustaining the online community will strengthen Festo LX as a leading platform for technical learning.
Festo Didactic SE
Dr. Ute Gebhard
Caroline Fabian, M.Sc.
Shtefi Mladenovska, M.Sc.