How Yamaha Motor builds the manufacturer-led relationship with users for engagement and collaboration

The testimonial picture for Yamaha Motor's use case

Tomohiro Kito

Brand Marketing Division
Brand Strategy Group, Creative Center


"The community space powered by Commune is a solid foundation to deliver products with informed direction."

Background

 

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd, primarily focusing on the motorcycle industry, initiated the R7 project with the goal of enhancing user engagement through a new initiative called ‘Co-creative D2C (Direct to Consumer).’ The newly launched R7 motorcycle is designed to be more user-friendly and approachable compared to the traditional super sports motorcycles that are costly and hard to sell.

The objective of Co-creative D2C is to foster direct connections between the manufacturer and users, a unique approach in the mobility industry. The company was seeking insights on how to create fans of the product and their gains through interacting with the manufacturer.

Challenges

The challenges Yamaha Motor encountered revolved around bridging the gap between users and the manufacturer to enhance user engagement. They recognized that establishing a community is not the ultimate goal but rather a means to an end.

In addressing this, Yamaha Motor selected Commune as their community platform. Commune was chosen not only for its emphasis on the strategic aspect of achieving the manufacturer’s business goals but also for its focus on delivering tangible end results.

Process

The introduction of the ‘Yamaha Motor Lab for R7’ community, powered by Commune, marked a significant step in the process. This community aimed to establish a comfortable space for collaboration between the manufacturer teams and users, facilitating the sharing of customization tips, collective problem-solving, and collaborative product creation.

For efficient community operations, three key departments—brand marketing, product design, and sales—were brought together. The product design team, adopting the role of influencers, found a valuable avenue for direct interaction with users, a challenge overcome by the existence of the community space.

The initial recruitment strategy involved reaching out to potential fans on Twitter through direct messages (DMs) on social media,  starting with a small group. Through iterative efforts, the community has flourished and now boasts a membership exceeding 800 users.

A community survey Yamaha Motor conducted in the Commune-powered customer community

Solution & results

Tangible outcomes from the community engagement are evident, showcasing the enjoyment and satisfaction of community members in their interactions. The close and engaging relationship fostered with users is a significant highlight. The collaborative efforts with users are perceived as yielding concrete results. This is reflected in the direct reception of unfiltered feedback from users, heightened employee engagement in offline events, and the establishment of a solid foundation for co-creating products with users.

Looking ahead, their future plans involve maximizing the community as a valuable source of information, steering products in a more informed direction, and exploring innovative marketing strategies.

Picture of the Yamaha Motor's team

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