Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Tribal Marketing: Ducati


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Good background information, Caroline. Thank you for sharing it with us. I had no appreciation of the Airstream background and story. It does make sense.

Personal freedom is a powerful calling. My take is that iPhone has fans, although I would not trade mine in for a BlackBerry, those gadgets are a pain to use. Thinking that iPhones and Apple products have tipped into mainstream while they still have many evangelists from the original tribe. Would be curious to learn what others think about your excellent questions.

I've always been fascinated by "tribe marketing", having years ago been struck by the "airstream" loyalty tribe phenomenon, which was all created prior to the internet or 'social media'. (Airstream are shiny aluminium vacation trailers, in case you dont know them) The inventor of the product AND the culture or tribe was a certain Wally Byam: his dream; to build the perfect travel trailer. One that would move like a 'stream of air'. One that would be light enough to be towed by anyone in a standard automobile. One that would provide first-class living accommodations anywhere in the world. The first Airstream trailer was built over 70 years ago, and with it was born yet another dream; a dream of new freedom, new places, new experiences, and new friendships. It was a dream so powerful, so enduring, it did far more than create a new way of travel; it created a new way of life, shared by thousands of families. And the tribe of Airstream is still going strong today (in fact Airstreams have become 'retro-cool').

Yes, I do think the Ducati 'tribe' has been modeled on Harley Davidson, and I think Harley Davidson modeled theirs on Airstream, and not unintentionally! The first time I saw Ducati en masse outside Italy was at the Concorso Italiano show during Pebble Beach week sometime in the mid 1990's. It was an impressive line up, all colors, and many different models. I was especially taken with the 'fly yellow' ones, and imagined black leathers with yellow piping and emblems as an eye catching ensemble for me to wear :-) That must have been (now looking back) their target intro to the American Public. Later my awareness was piqued when Ducati of Seattle opened. Coincidentally, I happened to pass through the catacombs of their building not too long ago enroute to viewing a hidden car collection (thanks DeWitt!). They are huge; much more than meets the eye looking at their storefront.

Would you say these three tribes (or cultures) were all created with an idea of "personal freedom" in mind? Is the iPhone a 'tribe' already, and is it also based on 'personal freedom'? Or does it just have lots of fans? And is there a difference? Apologies in advance; as I am asking questions rather than answering....... but thought you might have some interesting insight..........

This was a really yet another fabulous and enjoyable post! @CASUDI

@Eric - that's a very good question, causality. I shall connect with my contacts in Italy and see if I can dig a little deeper for you. I agree, it would be interesting to learn about what prompted the strategy in the first place.

@Jessica - I wish I did own one of those beauties!

@Carolyn Ann - a promise is a promise and I wanted to bring back the Ducati brand to this community. Love Vespa, of course I grew up with it -- and it was a whole lot more affordable for me. It's interesting how there's always a personal story that creates an emotional bond with brands.

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