Social media has great power nowadays to share new ideas, like a battery electric championship for example: you can easily target the right people, spread out the word to your fan base, teaser some news items, bring up competitions, ask questions to gain valuable information and let the fan know he is in charge. And of course, it will do your brand name nothing than good, as the atmosphere remains positive.
Well, that’s the theory of course. Because what happens when your company enters a different industry? Fans can either like it, or disgust it.
That’s the case for McLaren. A brilliant car manufacturer – that aims to produce the greatest super cars in the world – and is a Formula 1 constructor since 1963. McLaren has delivered components for the FIA Formula E Championship cars, the first battery electric single seater racing series that will start from September 2014 onwards and hosted in ten city centres per season.
But that’s a great thing, shouldn’t it? Every company is doing something ‘green’ nowadays. Well, if your brand is associated with Formula 1, meaning high speed and roaring engines, it might be the case that fans can react a bit differently to a championship that races with electric buzzing cars…
Apparently its current fan base consists of die-hard supercar petrol heads and conservative Formula 1 fans. Reactions like “worst thing ever” or sarcastic messages like “No it going to be cool cause McLaren will have to come up with sound system connected to motor to make it sound like a turbo or wot ever…” means you should try to educate these people slowly, or in case of just doing business with components you had already developed years ago, it might be better to ignore the green topic. But fortunately, one guy from India commented, “that it will be awesome for so many reasons”.
And he is probably the one of those people that Formula E targets. Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings, once said in a television interview: “Families and children will come to the races. We want to target a younger generation who are more into digital and want to participate rather than only to watch. That is what we want to achieve.”
Battery electric cars with a buzzing sound races solely on street courses in ten – most of them major – cities world wide from September until July. It is different, it has not been done before and should definitely not target the mainstream motorsports fans. Because it would simply not work. The people from Formula E acknowledge that, and that’s why the championship takes a totally different approach in making it a success. You like it, or disgust it.