Recently I‘ve had the opportunity to watch series of TedTalk videos the got me to thinking, are brand inspiring or are they inspired by others around them?  In my opinion, the answer is yes in both cases.  For every story of a brand’s commitment to the community, there are ones that are a result of solving a problem.

Take Airbnb’s founder Joe Gebbia for instance.  Because of necessity he reached out to a community he identified to discover that, “it was possible to make friends while making rent.”  His idea of a well-developed reputation system that built on trust was the founding idea behind his successful business.  In the end, Airbnb continues to answer needs that evolve as the company grows.  His belief of answering needs of communities and a sharing economy still drive the idea that “when trust works out right, it can be magical.”  This brand experience continues to answer a need as well as inspire the brand.

Another example of how a community can shape a brand is how Astro Teller spoke about how Google X celebrates failure. An idea that shapes a brand’s dreams based on the philosophy behind it.  A fail-fast mantra breeds ideas that develop “moon shots” that affect many people through radical solutions that utilize breakthroughs technology.  As Teller states “we spend most of our time breaking things, trying to prove we are wrong.  Run at all the hardest parts of the problem first. Get excited and cheer ‘hey how are we going to kill our project today?” the thought process adapted at Google X.  These beliefs continue to shape the vision of the brand and attract like thinkers to its brand message, a brand that inspires a community. 

As you can see many brands can change both a community, as well as a culture.