• Oct
  • 28

Look who’s playing Pongr: Car enthusiast Miles Branman

Pongr Ford CEO Miles Branman poses by his dreamcar, the Ford GT

Name: Miles Branman
Age: 20
Hometown: Orange County, California
Real Job: Boston University student, marketing intern for Boston-area PR firm.
Pongr Job: CEO of Ford
Career Dream: Work in corporate communications for a major auto brand.
Other Favorite Brands to Pongr: Vestal, G-Shock, Volkswagon, General Motors, Suburu, Vanguard Mattress, Dodge, Lamborghini, Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Porsche, Kawasaki, Apple, Boston University.
Fun Fact: Has worked as an “extra” on the set of the new TBS comedy series, “Glory Daze,” a retro 80s look at a group of friends pledging a college fraternity. Miles plays – what else? – a partying frat boy!
Fun Fact #2: Miles is not really in a frat, but understands the culture and can fake it.

It’s not every car junkie that loves the smell of exhaust AND gets an adrenaline rush from reading automotive press releases.

But Miles Branman, Pongr CEO of Ford, is no ordinary car enthusiast. First off, as if his mom knew his destiny from the womb, he has the perfect first name for car-themed branding. And he hasn’t let that coincidence go to waste. Miles is currently building a social media empire as an auto industry analyst, sharing his “Miles Per Hour” insights via his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and Vimeo video channels.

That’s where the Pongr game comes in, allowing enthusiasts like Miles to build an additional platform to promote their passions to a community of already receptive fans.

The game has also been an icebreaker in the real world, opening up natural networking opportunities.

“I recently found a Ford Transit Connect parked outside a Starbucks. I noticed a man walking towards the car, so I politely asked if it was his. He smiled and said ‘yes.’ I then asked if he wouldn’t mind posing next to his car. He gladly stood next to his Ford for a shot. I was then able to explain why I made such an odd request and by the end of our conversation, he was very intrigued by Pongr. Also, I’m sure he drove away a bit more proud of his Ford vehicle,” he says.

Miles aims to be a consumer guardian angel, letting prospective car buyers “know which brands are communicating the company vision and reputation well through their vehicles, employees, and other constituencies.”

“Becoming part of a corporate family is a big decision, and consumers need to know with whom they are aligning themselves and how recent organizational activity will affect them directly or indirectly,” he explains on his blog.

Miles plans on taking plenty more Ford pics with his camera phone, so if there are any other Ford enthusiasts out there, it won’t be easy to knock him off the throne. If he ever has a chance to meet the real Ford CEO, you can also bet that he won’t be caught short on words.

And that chance comes now, right here on the Pongr blog. Take it away, Miles!

“Well, Alan Mulally, I’d say you have done a fantastic job so far at the helm of Ford. You saw the change in public focus, so you gave them “green” cars to love. You also saw the potential for social media presence, so you picked up Scott Monty. If you REALLY want to make Ford stand out, here’s what I would suggest:

1. Act on the “One Ford” policy. Really create Ford cars that are sold globally, not just for specific regions/continents. I know Euro Safety standards are different from the US, but spend some time adhering to both. Consumers and auto lovers will thank you for it.

2. Bring a little Ford history back into the mix. This will make the old Ford dogs feel welcome amongst the new, hip, target audience. Share some history with your ads, make a blog that focuses on the evolution of Ford and highlight the good ol’ years.

3. To connect with the fans, engage them! Use the Twitter profile to not only share news and awards, but to reach out to Ford lovers and answer questions. Use Pongr to give fans incentive to spread the word about the great things Ford Motor Co. is up to.

(Would you like to be featured on the Pongr blog? Tell us about your passions, your favorite brands and why you play Pongr! Drop us a line at tips at pongr dot com)

Tags: , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to “Look who’s playing Pongr: Car enthusiast Miles Branman”

  1. Can’t remember a time when Miles wasn’t in love with cars - from the go-kart days to present he had an uncanny knack for identifying and explaining all things automotive. Other kids cited sports stats - Miles could identify an esoteric brand from MILES away!

  2. Scott Monty says:

    Pongr, thanks for this entry - and for getting Pongr on our radar.

    Miles - congratulations on becoming Pongr CEO of Ford! You’ve got one of the secret ingredients that make it possible: passion. Between passion and a commitment to our customers, those are two of the main elements that are fueling our turnaround.

    Thank you for the suggestions on improving our efforts. A few words on each of those, if I may.

    1. Building global cars - this is exactly what we’re doing. You’ve no doubt seen the Fiesta already; the all-new global Focus will follow early next year. We’ll keep that cadence up with a number of our vehicles, bringing to bear the best possible talent, engineering expertise, smart design, best in class fuel economy, state of the art technology and more to all of our customers around the world.

    2. Our heritage is important to us, but we don’t want to get caught up in in. We’ve found that what works best is to connect our history to our current practices as often as it makes sense. The beautiful thing about Ford is that we’re still executing on the original vision of Henry Ford: making affordable transportation for all. Only now, we’re doing affordable fuel efficiency for all and affordable technology for all. We embarked on a Rear-View Mirror series on Facebook this summer and we’re determining how best to incorporate that into our other sites moving forward.

    3. We regularly engage fans not only through our corporate Twitter account, but through individuals who share the passion for that medium. @samdelag has been a tireless conversationalist as the Fiesta brand manager; @JWard35 has led communications for the Explorer and in particular, has shown a high degree of engagement on the Explorer Facebook page, just as @MSchirmerFord has done on the Focus Facebook page. And we regularly host live chats on The Ford Story to do just that.

    We’re intrigued by Pongr and the practical applicability of the platform. We’re going to be looking at it in more detail to determine how it fits with our overall plans.

    Thanks so much for your support of Ford, and from one BU guy to another: Go BU!

    Scott Monty
    Global Digital Communications
    Ford Motor Company

  3. Miles Branman says:

    Mr. Monty,

    Thank you very much for taking some time to address my interests and fueling my admiration for Ford’s brilliant turnaround.

    I can see why Mr. Mulally brought you on board and it is encouraging to see you intimately know and respect the Ford brand.

    It is essential that corporate communicators have direct connection to company executives to communicate vision and maintain message consistency.
    Ford is clearly the best example of this rule’s execution. Your ties to Mr. Mulally are inspiring to rising professionals in communications fields, congratulations.
    I value Ford not simply for it’s fantastic vehicles, but its corporate culture, starting at the C-suite.

    I will be sure to follow those people you mentioned and I look forward to more great moves on Ford’s behalf.

    Equally inspiring is Pongr’s utility; it has all the fundamentals of a winning social media application beyond just a good concept. Pongr can and should be another tool in Ford’s brand building shed.

  4. Miles Branman says:

    Oh and one more thing….Go Terriers!