How can we consider Jimmy Buffet as members of a reference group? A brand community. The definition of a reference group is the people of whose attitudes, behavior, beliefs, opinions, preferences, and values are used by an individual as the basis for his or her judgment. One does not have to be (or even aspire to be) a member of a reference group to be negatively or positively influenced by its characteristics. Jimmy Buffet fans are a part of reference group because they each relate to each other with similar beliefs and behaviors and all have a common bond in following the music of Jimmy Buffet and follow the themes of the fan base similar to dead heads (Grateful Dead). It seem that this reference group aka parrot heads are also part of a nerd group by themselves. Parrot heads is also a humanitarian group and has over 200 different clubs and volunteer groups and charitable events for communities for a charity. This reference group not\only attends Jimmy Buffet concerts but they also are part of huge tailgating party that likes to dress up in tropical outfits and like to drink and pass around blow up dolls filled with alcohol and have fun and escape from their daily nerdy lives. Jimmy Buffet music was big in the late 70’s but his following has become even much bigger today and multi-generational and is not uncommon to see a parent attending this events with one of his adult siblings partaking in the festivities. A brand community is a community or a company to express shared interest in a particular product or “brand”. In the case of Jimmy Buffet the brand name is Margaritaville from his hit song back in 1977.
This brand has gone far beyond selling T shirts and posters but has become a major multi- million dollar business and his branding ranges from a wide range from clothing to casinos and everything in between. I personally am not a parrot head or have been to a one of his concerts but enjoy his music and would probably enjoy going to a concert if the opportunity presented itself. I have a neighbor who is a huge “Parrot Head” and she has all kinds of Margaritaville brand products from bags games, to Adirondack chairs to a huge fake palm tree in her backyard and travels to Las Vegas to go to the casino. It is reported Jimmy Buffet has a net worth of over $400 million dollars with his branding and although was a decent musician he has become a marketing giant with his branding. What kind of opportunities does the existence of the Buffett community present to marketers? Develop a list of specific marketing and promotional tactics. The opportunities are endless for the Margaritaville community as long as they are not violating the trademark or bootlegging the products. If you are an entrepreneurial type of person you could work with Margaritaville and develop products that are marketed towards this reference group or could be part of several type of businesses that use this branding or other similar products. Here is a list of promotional tactics one could use to market to this reference group. The Margaritaville line implies quality, value and good times and has a colorful tropical theme and can be put on all different kinds of merchandise that could be sold through several distribution channels. Margaritaville clothing line
Music stores retailing Jimmy Buffet music
Parrot Head Hats
Club for community charity
The Margaritaville brand continues to expand and as new booming markets are created you can see the branding take advantage of those markets that are growing.
Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having, Being (10th ed.). (2013). Saddle River,
NJ: Michael R. Soloman. Reference Group Definition – Sociology. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sociology.about.com/od/R_Index/g/Reference-Group.htm What Is a Brand Community? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-brand-community.htm Margaritaville: A Brand Anything But Wasting Away | Beneath the Brand. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.talentzoo.com/beneath-the-brand/blog_news.php?articleID=15368 Parrot Heads in Paradise Inc. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.phip.com/