How Discord Helps Brands Engage Their Fans With ‘Emerging Culture’


The profusion of social media apps continually push marketers to research the latest usage trends in their quest to engage consumers with their brands. The Discord chat app has grown in popularity over the past year as people search for ways to meet friends online. The platform also serves as a social listening tool for brands like Chipotle, Hot Topic, and Jack in the Box, and its ad-free format calls for a less intrusive approach for marketers interacting with users.

“The fast-paced nature of Discord makes it a breeding ground for culture and emerging trends, and allows brands to constantly engage with consumers on interesting topics,” said by email Jesse Nicely, vice president and general manager of group strategy at Cashmere Agency. “At the same time, users can organize more intimate spaces for themselves and their friends, while accommodating larger communities if they wish.”

Discord allows people to have live voice, video and text conversations, both in private chats and in groups called servers which are mostly by invitation only. A sign of growing interest in this type of community-building video game business, Roblox this week bought Guilded, a competitor to Discord that focuses on competitive gaming, for an undisclosed fee.

While Discord’s roots lie in gaming communities, users of the platform also create servers to discuss other topics with people who share interests. Marketers can create a space to engage directly with their most loyal customers by overseeing their own brand communities on Discord.

“Brands can authentically engage with consumers on Discord by leveraging what’s already appealing to consumers with Discord – building relationships around common interests and chatting in real time,” Nicely said. “It also allows for specific consumer benefits or surprises that are exclusive and unique to Discord.”

Instead of selling advertising, Discord makes money from subscriptions to its Nitro service. For $ 9.99 per month or $ 99.99 per year, Nitro members get perks like larger file downloads, special emoji, and better video quality.

“Discord is different”

Marketers who got a foothold on Discord include New Era Cap, the company that makes the official headgear for the NFL, NBA, and MLB. His the waiter is a place for fans of its products to show off their collections of licensed material and talk about sports.

Because Discord provides a forum for real-time interactions, it is well suited for virtual events. AllSaints Fashion Retailer in May hosted a question-and-answer session with its leading menswear designer and offered a glimpse of how his styles have evolved over the years.

Community engagement on Discord has a variety of other applications, as seen with Chipotle’s virtual job fair on the platform. After announcing that it would increase its average hourly wage to $ 15 an hour and hire 20,000 people, the fast-casual chain received around 24,000 applicants in one week. Its content included sessions with employees who explained benefits and career paths, Business Insider reported.

“Discord sets itself apart from other social media platforms in the way its functionality and structure allow a channel to create very engaged communities, while allowing users to maintain a level of privacy and anonymity,” said Nicely.


“Discord represents a shift in what we think of as ‘normal’ social media platforms. People are really creating an intimate community to chat and be a part of something specific, not just focusing on growing their specific followers. . “

Jesse Nicely

Vice President and Group Strategy Director, Cashmere Agency


Nicely pointed out teen retailer Hot Topic as a brand that created a Discord server to appeal to fans of anime, the animation style hailing from Japan. Hot topic launched its Anime & Beyond Discord server ahead of last month’s Anime Expo conference in Los Angeles.

“While Discord goes beyond the roots of the game, brands that have equity with specific fandoms always have a little edge,” Nicely said. “Hot Topic used [its] retail and online presence to show off and continually support the anime community. “

Cashmere helped fast food chain Jack in the Box attract fans to San Diego Comic-Con, the annual comic book festival that last month went virtual for the second year in a row. The “Jack’s Late Night Discord” event featured a virtual concert with superhero-themed band The Aquabats. It also included interactive channels focused on Funko Pop figures, the Marvel Cinematic and DC universes, a product “leak” and an auction for a non-fungible token (NFT).

“We knew that game and comic fans were on Discord and that the platform is made up of communities with a focus on common interests and activities, so we made sure that was a central aspect. of ‘Jack’s Late Night Discord’, ”said Nicely. “We created chat rooms and events that were personalized and resonated well with our audience and the Comic-Con crowd.”

The event saw 7,664 members in two days, with 100% of the Jack in the Box Discord community active on its server, he said.

“Discord represents a shift in what we think of as ‘normal’ social media platforms. People are really creating an intimate community to chat and be a part of something specific, not just focusing on growing their specific followers. “said Nicely. “The instant messaging aspect of the platform has a strong appeal because it is a way for brands to really foster deeper connections and to speak directly with people.”





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