According to a report by auto research website Edmunds.com, Ford Motor Co. has become the second-biggest automaker in the U.S. behind General Motors. With this, Ford has overtaken Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) in the wake of Toyota's damaging parade of recalls.
Now that Ford has leaped ahead of Toyota, how do they continue to build on this momentum. Bottom line, they are building relationships and listening. Ford started with the Fiesta movement and have been a long sponsoring partner of American Idol whos demographics are a perfect target for Ford's new initiatives. In a recent interview with Brian Solis with Jim Farley the question was asked, "Was there an a-ha moment for you when you realized the power of social media"? Jim responded by saying, "a-ha for me was scion. I learned that for a brand that people dont know or trust, the company must rely on others to tell the story. People dont trust big companies, they do trust their friends... as far as the c-suite, either they get it or they dont. Thankfully we do!"
- Ford home page is links to their social media sites.
- Home page also has stories with share capabilities and videos.
- The home page includes links to micosites including thefordstory.com with the tag line, Ford is different - Join the Conversation.
- On the mico site thefordstory.com there is a link to Ford Social Networks that easily lays out the variety of social networks to join the conversation including Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, Scribd, Delicious, Events and Reviews.
- Ford dials it further with specific areas of conversation engagement by customer interest including Ford Latino, Ford racing ect.
Lessons from the campaign were eloquently described in an article from Grant McCracken (research affiliate at MIT and the author of Chief Culture Officer)
There is an awful lot of aimless experiment in the digital space these days. A lot of people who appear not to have a clue are selling digital marketing advice (This is so true- I will writing about this soon). I think the Fiesta Movement gives us new clarity. It's a three-step process.
1. Engage culturally creative consumers to create content.
2. Encourage them to distribute this content on social networks and digital markets in the form of a digital currency.
3. Craft this is a way that it rebounds to the credit of the brand, turning digital currency (and narrative meaning) into a value for the brand.