Previously we've outlined the 10 success factors for community-based marketing (CBM) as well as the 10 mistaken expectations of 'community'.

But there are some more fundamental drivers and motivations that create the right conditions for a community to succeed. If you are considering building a community you should look for these, and seek to harness them, to give you the best chance of success.

And guess what? These six ingredients for a successful community handily spell out the mnemonic P.O.T.A.T.O 🥔

So let's take a look at each:


This is likely to be a "cause" or even "movement". Something people are genuinely passionate about like sustainability, or diversity, or any number of charitable causes. There may well be a campaigning or lobbying element to passionate communities. There is no reason why such passion cannot exist in B2B/professional communities.

Example Passion communities on Guild: The Warrior Women Network or She Has No Limits or Creatives for Climate


Communities emerge and coalesce when there are opportunities, often something new and fast developing where there is a chance for all to benefit if you share insights, learnings, resources and connections.

Example Opportunity communities on Guild: SaaS Marketing Leaders or Substribe: the future of subscriptions


Tribes and other communities are often strongest when they are under threat by some outside force. It is in their interests to bond together to combat the challenge and overcome it through collective intelligence and strength.

Example Threat communities on Guild: CREO (Corona Response for Event Organisers) or FORT - Furloughed or Released Talent


Particularly in a professional context, access to information and the right people is extremely valuable. If you can get access to others in a similar position, especially those with influence, expertise or power, then you have an advantage. The credibility, authority and status afforded by this access is also a powerful reason to want to stay part of the community.  

Example Access communities on Guild: Fix/Adtech Perfect Storm or The FD & CFO Network or Innovation Roundtable or Speciall Media Group or Media Entrepreneur Meetup


There is a great sense of connection when you 'find your tribe' and a community where the others understand and share your challenges, trials and tribulations. A safe space where you can open up and get support from others who properly understand what you are going through because they are too. This kind of community is like professional therapy and it feels good.

Example Therapy communities on Guild: Crafty Counsel Community or Like Minds or Agency Hackers


Communities with some shared origin, background or experience have naturally strong bonds. Most obviously it is people who come from the same place. But it can also include alumni groups from school, university or previous employers.

Example Origin communities on Guild: Ethiopian-sisterhood or Digital/Marketing Pioneers or Indonesian Professional Diaspora Network

If you're thinking of starting a community, or already running one, how do you think it scores on the P.O.T.A.T.O 🥔 scale? Sizzling chips or cold mash?

Join Guild 🤝

See for yourself how the Guild experience is different to WhatsApp, Slack, LinkedIn or Facebook Groups. Guild is a safe space to connect, communicate and collaborate with others.

Join us on a platform that is purpose-built for professionals and businesses.

Contact us if you want to know more or have any questions.