Culture – Bernard Cova: the link matters more than the good – Occasions DUCATI


Bernard Cova: the link matters more than the good

Marketing professor at ESCP-EAP and Euromed Marseille, Bernard Cova studied the Ducati phenomenon and answered questions from Moto-Net.

Professor of marketing at ESCP-EAP and Euromed Marseille, author of several books, Bernard Cova has studied the Ducati phenomenon.

He answers questions from Moto-Net.


Moto-Net: When you mention Ducati, you talk about "tribal marketing". What is it exactly ?
Benard Cova: In the case of Ducati, the company capitalizes on the fact that there are already groups of fanatics of the brand who come together to share their passion. Tribal marketing helps this "tribe" to exist and grow to spread the oil and recruit new fanatics. The basic idea is that "the connection matters more than the good".

Moto-Net: Can we consider the takeover of the firm by the American pension fund TPG as a success? ?
B. C.: Before TPG’s takeover, the Ducati, while legendary, was the subject of a gloomy saying about its reliability: "Ducati, Soldi Butati " (Ducati, money thrown out the window). Federico Minoli, appointed by TPG, was able to clean up the house. He bet everything on the tribe, appointing from the outset not a marketing manager but a "tribe director", now responsible for a team of 30 people. Communication for the general public being too expensive, Ducati has bet on the "tribe tam-tam" with a website and a set of events (such as "Ducati weekends") making it possible to build a large virtual tribe (2 million visitors in total) around a much smaller real tribe (200,000 motorcycles in circulation). According to Minoli, the brand therefore has a "share of dream" ten times greater than its "share of market" (market share).

Moto-Net: Are the results convincing? ?
B. C.: Yes. There are 600 clubs around the world today who are passionate about Ducati, compared to 40 three years ago. They are very different: they range from "Neo-fascists of Rome" to "Gays of San Francisco". They have the right to design their own branded t-shirts. The Net also allows them to meet. Ducati has gone pretty far in integrating enthusiasts by creating rides, charities and even a credit card! They even thought of a "GP bond", a way to finance the Ducati Corsa team by enthusiasts.


Interview by Pierre SYLVESTRE

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