Why Companies are Making the Vanilla Switch For Their Community

5 minute read

May 15, 2020

Why Companies are Making the Vanilla Switch For Their Community

Vanilla is for everyone, even all you vegans out there, like me. Don’t worry my friends, Vanilla ice cream is also available as a non-dairy option.

And to be clear, when I say “ice cream,” what I mean to say is “community forum.” Why? Because we all want a Vanilla Community Forum; some of us just don’t know it yet.

Now, there will be two groups of you reading this.

The first group of you will be happily enjoying your ice cream, all the while saying, “[we] switched providers and reduced costs; we increased our return on investment without negatively impacting anyone in our community by the change!” (Well, actually that was Acer specifically, when they made the Vanilla switch.)

The other group of you will be looking at all these delicious toppings and saying, “I don’t have a Vanilla Forum, please tell me more about it and how I can get one!”

Well, alright! I’ll oblige with your request for more information, since you asked so nicely.

At Vanilla, we don’t mess around; we know that a one-size-fits-all mentality doesn’t work for a community that aims to enable engagement and brand loyalty. No two communities are the same, so why should your forum be?

Our goal is to give you a solid foundation and provide you with the tools, expertise and knowledge to easily mould and shape your community forum to fit your members’ expectations and your brand identity.

This leads to the first major reason why companies are making the Vanilla switch—customizability. 

Vanilla Switch-1

Vanilla’s Top Tier Customizability

How your community looks is important because, let’s face it, people do judge a book by its cover. That’s why at Vanilla, we offer greater customization than any other hosted community platform. We put you in the driver’s seat and give you full control over everything.

Folks, I’m talking real customization. Vanilla isn’t a pick a template and that’s all you get type of platform; the kind where “customization” is selecting a few different colours and maybe choosing a cool icon from a selection of 10 options.

That’s not customization. What other platforms offer is essentially the equivalent of letting you select “the fruit of your choice” from a “fruit only menu.”

Vanilla offers a rich theming platform that allows you to seamlessly blend your community look and feel with the rest of your website or make a beautiful and unique stand-alone community. If your brand is important to your web presence (and it should be) then you need this level of customization.

Wave is an excellent example of an organization whose choice to make the Vanilla Switch paid off big time. As Community Manager, Charlotte Hamilton-Warr noted, “We were looking for a platform that would be easy to transition to from the Zendesk community that we were using, and the migration was incredibly straightforward and not disruptive for the existing members that we had.”

Wave not only got the beautifully customized community they were looking for (as seen in the image below) but they were also able to deflect 30% of their support tickets! Now that’s a sweet win!

The Wave Community Powered by Vanilla Forums

Now, I know that some of you might not know what to do with all these possibilities; I mean, it can be overwhelming! Where to even begin? Well, this actually brings me to our secret ingredient: our Success Team.

Vanilla’s Unique SuccessTeam™

The SuccessTeam makes Vanilla one of a kind. This team is dedicated to ensuring your success in every way and any way you’d like your forum to go! From on boarding, to migrating, from troubleshooting to helping make your custom vision come true—every win for you is a win for us.

Let me touch on this point of migration though, because I know that some of you have a fairly large community. Your community might even be so well established and have so much data that you think making a Vanilla switch just isn’t possible.

Well, it’s actually a lot more easy than you’d think.

Let me tell you a story about our friend, King, a leading mobile game developer with over 200 titles and over 268 million active users a month. They choose to make the Vanilla Switch after being unable to increase their engagement levels and retention rates—they simply weren’t able to  deliver the brand experience they were looking for. 

The migration was as smooth as it could possible go.

Graham Henderson, the Associate Director Player Community, attributed this easy migration to the Vanilla SuccessTeam. The SuccessTeam does several things that helps our customers get the best community possible.

Provide Training

Our SuccessTeam will provide you with the knowledge and materials you need to get started. You’ll receive useful checklists, training materials, including technical instruction on software configuration and administration and learn community management best practices.

Assist in a Smooth Community Launch

Our SuccessTeam has helped launch hundreds of communities like yours, and they work directly with your team to get your community up and running quickly. Migrations to the Vanilla platform are always reported to be painless and stress-free.

Help Your Community Grow

Our SuccessTeam will work with you to set periodical checkpoints that work for you. You’ll receive ongoing and continued support to help you measure, improve and scale your community so that it can be exactly what you envision.

Powerful Community Gamification

Vanilla has one of the best gamification systems available, all for the out-of-box price! In case you’re not familiar with what gamification is, it refers to the application of game mechanics into other things that are traditionally non-game related, with the broader goal of increasing user engagement. 

Ultimately, Vanilla gamification give you all the tools you need to help increase engagement and boost participation levels. This is incredibly important since statistics show that engagement is the biggest challenge that organizations face—so make sure your community has the tools you need to address this challenge head-on!

Be sure to check out our eBook, A Strategic Guide to Community Gamification to learn more about how gamification, and Vanilla gamification, can help your community stand out from your competitors! 

Concluding Thought

Honestly, the list goes on and on when it comes to why organizations are making the Vanilla Switch. If you’re thinking that it’s about time for you to make the Vanilla switch, we’ve got you covered. The migration process is seamless and easy—be sure to check out our customer testimonials to see for yourself!

It’s as easy as One, Two, Switch.

Vanilla Switch


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Sarah Robinson-Yu

Written by Sarah Robinson-Yu

Sarah is the Content Marketing Specialist at Vanilla Forums. Prior to Vanilla, Sarah worked in the public sector where she led and coordinated the strategic framework and operational policy development of business processes.

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