Meet Gemma Howells, Head of Digital Enterprise at Woolworths FoodCo.

Gemma’s team have created one of Australia’s most successful owned brand communities – bunch – a members’ only online food community with a long waiting list! Gemma will take us through the creation and lessons from bunch at Swarm 2019.

We caught up with her ahead of her Swarm appearance.

What’s a key advantage of an owned community over social media for Woolworths?
Woolworths created the bunch community as a way for customers to shape the future of Woolworths Own Brand ranges.
Through bunch, members get to experience our range of products for free and give us feedback on how we’re doing.

A community enabled us to customise the functionality to fulfil this brief which would not have been possible via social media.

What’s your favourite community right now and why?

Inevitably the community that I spend most of my time on is bunch and I’m constantly blown away by the stories that our customers share.

I find it incredibly humbling and grounding to hear about the challenges they face, how they overcome them and see how they are connecting with each other. It’s a real privilege to witness.

How can community managers add strategic value to an enterprise?

Find the win-win scenarios: things that benefit your members that align with and add value to your business strategy.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now that all community professionals should read/watch/listen to?

Personally I’m a big podcast fan and listen to a mix of free content mainly relating to tech and entrepreneurship.

I constantly find similarities and inspiration from the journey that startups have been on through the evolution of their business.

In a surprising number of examples, businesses are built off the back of a community following.

Why should community peeps come to Swarm?

It is THE community event in Australia –a great place to hear about real experiences from top talent around the world, meet like-minded people and ask the questions you’ve been wanting to ask that no-one else in your organisation can help with!

Don’t miss Gemma in person at Swarm 2019. Limited tickets are available – book yours now.

Get to know more awesome Swarm 2019 speakers: