American Marketer


Ferrari taps enthusiasm of fan base with new model

February 28, 2018

Ferrari's Portofino convertible tops out at 200 mph. Image credit: Ferrari.


Italian automaker Ferrari is exhibiting how a product launch or exciting endeavor can elicit a powerful ripple effect on social media starting with loyal fans.

The auto brand made a big splash with a new high-speed convertible, gaining a significant share of excitement from loyal fans on social media, according to Engagement Labs. Ferrari was among the top brands on Engagement Labs' TotalSocial Brand Awards, thanks to the positive buzz on social.

"Ferrari is a brand which has typically been associated with speed and luxury, and clearly understands who their everyday influencers are as well as what topics drive them," said Ed Keller, CEO at Engagement Labs. "The luxury automotive brand increased consumer conversations among offline influencers—or those who talked about the brand in face-to-face conversations by playing into the desires of car enthusiasts through the launch of its new convertible that tops out at 199mph."

Engagement Labs looked at more than 500 brands in the United States and analyzed how influencers discussed these brands on and offline.

Racing to first
In August 2017, Ferrari revealed a new convertible design that can reach speeds up to 200mph. The model, priced at $200,000, will replace the brand's entry level model, the California T.

Ferrari fans took to social media to discuss their excitement over the Portofino.

Engagement Labs designated Ferrari as one of the top brands successful with everyday influencers on social. For instance, those with large social followings who often provide recommendations but are not celebrities.

In addition to social influencers, those who are often recommending products and brands to friends and family offline also supported Ferraris top ranking.

To create these designations, Engagement Labs looks at four factors from its TotalSocial research. Brands that joined Ferrari such as Regions Bank and CVS saw significantly positive influence sentiment, meaning there were more positive than negative remarks.

This is also coupled with the brand share, meaning how much a brand or its marketing is being talked about or how often consumers are sharing their content. Volume is also a factor, and is based on the measure of how much conversation a brand is getting.

Ferrari's conversation share was generated significantly offline. The brand was able to tap into an already strong fan base to jumpstart discussion with its new Portofino.

Dreamy vision. #FerrariPortofino #dreamcar #carlifestyle

A post shared by Ferrari (@ferrari) on Feb 27, 2018 at 12:18am PST

Automakers should pay more attention to what drives consumer discussion in regards to their brands, as offline performs better than online when it comes to the automotive industry.

According to another report from Engagement Labs, a significant portion of discussion in regards to automotive brands happens offline. In both word-of-mouth and social discussion, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and BMW topped the rankings, respectively (see more).

Engagement Labs also gave a high score to Puma, who taps into its trending influencers on social media such as big names Kendall Jenner, Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Big Sean, The Weeknd and Cara Delevingne, in an example of how effective these influencer campaigns can be. The brand saw an increase of 15 percent in sales concurrent with the campaign and a 92 percent growth in income.

Social rankings
Previously top-ranked in consumer engagement, department store chain Nordstrom was recently pushed out by mass-market retailers, according to a December report from Engagement Labs.

The high-end department store previously held the third spot in Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial rankings, but it dropped to spot 20 after it received negative backlash from dropping the Ivanka Trump's namesake apparel and accessories line, much to the dismay of U.S. President Donald Trump. The drop in ranking, however, left room for mass retailers Macy’s and Target to swoop in, with both seeing significant gains (see more).

"Brands that want to tap social influence should think well beyond the high-profile, paid influencers with millions of followers," Engagement Lab's Mr. Keller said. "There is another very important category of influencer—the 'everyday' or micro-influencers, who have a huge impact.

"The brands highlighted in our study have done exceptionally well with tapping the conversational influence of this group, in offline and/or online conversation," Mr. Keller said. "One of the important takeaways here is that it’s not only new tech or high-profile glamour brands that can activate influencers.

"Brands that do a great job with everyday needs, such as banking or healthcare, can become standouts."