Dylan Gambardella
Co-founder & Co-CEO, Next Gen

Next Gen’s Dylan Gambardella on How to Foster a Thriving Community

While still in high school, Dylan Gambardella started his first business venture Students4Students, which is a consultancy aimed at helping students through the college admissions process. In 2014, he co-founded the Next Gen Summit and has since grown it to a community of more than 20,000 members across 90 different countries. He's also an accomplished speaker, having addressed global audiences at Yale University, UCLA and more. On this episode, we dive into all sorts of exciting topics including building and maintaining a community, how Gen Z entrepreneurs are changing workplace expectations, and his advice to young entrepreneurs.

Heard on this Episode: Community Building Tips for Brands

  • Make Sure Your Content Adds Value. “The number one lesson is that you always have to be adding value. Whether you're a community and you put out content or you are hosting events, they have to be adding to the folks who are engaging with you. For us, from a content perspective, it's always educational. And so I think for any community leader, especially a brand that's looking to build a loyal following, you have to figure out a way that you can uniquely add value or else it's not worth it to the members.”
  • Incentivize Community Members to Give (Feedback, Input, etc.). “…putting in place an infrastructure that emphasizes giving. It's not easy because people naturally will come to different communities for what they need... But if you can, through moderation, through just curation, honestly create that infrastructure where giving is incentivized, then you're good to go.”
  • Build Brand (Not Just Product) Advocates. “When I think about Gen Z consumer(s), if you can win with them when they are 20, when they're 18, then you have a consumer for life, right? If you can get in front of them and not only win in the sense of them buying a product, but they actually care about your brand, they're going to come back to you. They're not going to jump ship. Because we have that loyalty factor, right? When we find something we care about, we're going to stay there.”

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