Vespa USA has created a digital lifestyle and community-focused Web site, www.LaVespaVita.com, that combines style, blogs, products, and user content. The point is to make the brand shareable. The program mirrors, to some extent, sibling brand Moto Guzzi's new lifestyle-centric, consumer content social platform, Moto Guzzi Originals. The site's name references the great Fellini film starring Marcello Mastroianni, who rides one, as does Gregory Peck in "Roman Holiday."
Among other things, the site has a "Vespa Mosaic," where owners can post photos via Flickr or Instagram by using the hashtag #VespaVita; a Vespa Style Book, which is meant to be a user-generated review of people's sartorial inclinations -- with or without their scooters via the hashtag #VespaStyle; and a "La Vespa Vita Blog" where community members can submit posts about the Vespa lifestyle around trends, personalities, history, culture and adventures. One can also be a contributor by submitting content for the La Vespa Vita blog at www.lavespavita.com/blog. The site also has the 2012 model lineup and a promotion dangling $1,000 in Vespa gear.
Melissa R. MacCaull, VP of marketing at Piaggio Group Americas, tells Marketing Daily that the new site isn't just a loyalty driver for current owners. "It's for riders and aspiring riders, or folks who like the brand," she says. "The site was created because there are so many great photos and content about Vespa on the digital landscape, so we wanted a place to match it. It's a site that conveys to people what Vespa is about with stories and photos."
MacCaull says the site will be largely self-promotional via its links with Vespa's U.S. Facebook and Twitter pages, and other complementary social platforms. "Most of it will be viral; we will also reach out to other, like-minded networks whether fashion or entertainment, or music."
Vespa, will, for example, have a presence at SXSW next year, around music. Meanwhile, she says, the company has been simplifying its traditional consumer site, www.VespaUSA.com to focus on products. "Our strategy has been to build the consumer Web site as a clear and simple place to go for product information and special offers, and to find dealers and drop personal data."
The company has, in recent years, also been executing a marketing campaign with a slightly more pragmatic bent. It promotes Vespa as a way to reduce oil consumption, pollution and traffic congestion. "We will continue to do that," she says, "but Vespa also about travel as fun and freedom."