If I was to ask, are you a commie or falcon, red or blue or a Holden man over Ford man, what would you say? This question is one that splits the Australian population and has in turn created very passionate communities based around these two brands. When I went to the Gold Coast 500 last year I was amazed by the length that people are invested into these brands. Wearing full outfits, knowing all the drivers, even painting their faces to show off their pride. In one case I witness an argument over “how much my commodore would flog your shit falcon”.
The Holden and Ford rivalry is one of the biggest in Australian sport and both companies know it. Both companies have used this rivalry to foster a sense of brand pride in their consumers and have facilitated forums, car clubs and social groups based around the consumer’s passion for their brand.
Most people when thinking about communities usually don’t associate it with brands as its core. I know I didn’t. When I was researching into this topic I found that I was part of many brand communities and I didn’t even know it. I comment on forums, I wear clothes to promote brands I like and I get offended when my friends say something negative about one of “my” brands.
To understand how brands create communities we must understand what makes a community. Community can be described as a group of people that share the same attitude, beliefs and/or interests. Therefore companies implement brand attitude strategies to give a personality to the brand so that consumers can relate. An example of this in practice is how Holden links its products with Australian pride.
By doing this they give the brand a sense of principles, morals, and attitude that consumers can connect with. Than by creating platforms for consumers to share in their thoughts such as forum pages (justcommodores.com.au). Companies link consumers together creating a community based around the brand. There are a lot of brand communities around and it provides a space for like minded people to share their interest with others and gain a sense of belonging. it is in act when the brand at the core becomes a strong connection for the individual creating brand loyalty. For me, I know that brand communities are just another function of marketing to create repeat purchases but still,
I am proud to be a Holden man and will forever buy Holden over Ford!