At cruise events and car shows I have observed what I call brand polarization.
I think it is partly brand loyalty – something marketers try very hard to master.
Car owners like to join clubs with others who own the same brand – it is natural to gather with others who have similar interests. I think it must be a human condition. There are Directories of Directories of Organizations – all manner of groups cluster for all manner if reasons.
I think this is quite interesting – not that people with similar interests gather together – rather that their brand loyalties are so strong.
I’m wondering if part of the loyalty is just as simple as familiarity. Each brand has its own way of doing some things and perhaps that is why the owner bought that variety in the first place. Of course style and colour, features – all play a part. It’s why Industrial Designers are an important part of the design teams.
So there is no denying brand loyalty exists and manufacturers work really hard to establish this bond with owners.
One description I read pointed out that currently, manufacturers know that if a car owner is going to purchase a new car within 3 or 4 years, they are most likely to stick with the brand they have. This might have had a lot to do with the terms and conditions of most car leases. It is also known that a buyer who waits longer to purchase a new car will likely have experienced lifestyle changes and is more likely to shop other brands.
When it comes to our special cars however, even though brand loyalty is almost always present, it seems to me it could be a counter-productive trait.
What I mean is, just because I favour a particular brand of car, or a particular model or colour, I try to appreciate that the owners next to me (at a cruise event, for example) are just as proud, worked just as hard and needed as much ingenuity and dedication as me – probably more.
Can we just try to look at our special cars through a different lens? Maybe a wide angle and not narrow?
For example, if you meet someone who has a hotrod but you have always liked the original, the bottom line is, we all have an interest in cars and we are all in this together.