We live in a copycat culture. Everywhere we look, we see multiple versions of the same idea, the same products, the same services, even the same old rehashed articles. Is it a lack of original thinking, or is it because people are afraid to be different? Probably a bit of both, but when we do see someone who has the courage to take a stand and be different, we’re impressed. One such person is a young Australian named Tom McPherson, who not only stood up against what he thought was wrong, but also created a thriving business that’s changed the face of his industry.
As a typical Australian with a passion for cars, McPherson frequented as many car shows and meets as he could, but was bothered by the constant negativity and exclusivity that went on at these events.
“It was a bad scene,” says McPherson. “There was a lot of bullying on the part of people who seemed to think that if you drove a car or a bike that they didn’t approve of, you shouldn’t be allowed to attend the meets.”
In addition, McPherson explains, motoring enthusiasts were starting to be tarnished with the same brush by being labelled ‘hoons,’ a term referring to people who deliberately drive in a reckless or unsafe manner in order to provoke a reaction from onlookers. In 2018, McPherson decided to take action, and founded an online motoring community that welcomes all without fear of discrimination. Called Motor Culture Australia, the platform offers exciting giveaways, events and discounts to its members.
“We started off small,” McPherson adds, “but people were enticed by the idea of a safe and positive environment, so the word spread faster than I could have ever imagined.”
Starting with small meets, the Motor Culture team attracted attention by posting photos on Instagram and focusing on building a rapport with their followers and members. In 2019, the platform started to diversify, and with a reputation for its extraordinarily extravagant giveaways, now boasts over 100,000 members. Motor Culture is also becoming renowned for its generous contributions to charity, supporting such worthy causes as the Black Dog Institute, the Smith Family and Hummingbird House.
McPherson has a favourite quote made by Michael Vance: “Innovation is the creation of the new or the re-arranging of the old in a new way.” He feels that what sets Motor Culture apart from the competition is the willingness to form a genuine relationship with members and customers.
“We have created a real culture; you can feel its presence. We make a point of giving back to our members and the community. Finally, we are always pushing the boundaries and setting trends in our industry by doing things no one else has or is doing.”
With plans to take his ideas international, McPherson certainly has a bright future ahead of him. And while others may attempt to recreate what he has accomplished, it’s unlikely that they will achieve his level of success.