A brand community is a group of like-minded
individuals with the same strong connection to a brand. As defined by Albert Muniz Jr.
and Thomas O’Guinn, brand communities exhibit three traditional characteristics; a shared
consciousness, rituals and traditions, and a sense of moral responsibility to the brand.
Harley Owners Group, also known as HOG, is a great example of this, it is considered
the granddaddy of all community building efforts. The community was created to combat the bankruptcy
the company was facing. HOG is a shared group of Harley riders with a shared consciousness
for motorcycles and all things Harley-Davidson. The group bonds over similar rituals and traditions,
such as, large scale events that bring the thousands of members together to build long-lasting
and strong relationships with the brand and other HOG members. The members of this group
have a strong sense of moral responsibility meaning that they are lifetime members that
only support Harley-Davidson, not purchasing any other motorcycle brand. To them, the brand
is a way of life and a culture all its own. The community strives through the passion
and loyalty of its members. Although creating a brand community is regularly used as a business
strategy, it exists to serve the people in it.