#OB2022ThoughtLeadership: Your drive is a brand style

#OB2022ThoughtLeadership: Your drive is a brand style

Do you know the way you drive could help establish the love for a car in passersby as well as car enthusiasts? One of the most effective ways of making the brand of any vehicle noticeable is the proper use of the car as well as having an outstanding brand ambassador.

A car has always been something of a standing symbol. Whether you strive to drive a car flashy or expensive, wash and polish every other day or weekend, or just use it as something to get you from a place to another, the car you drive says something about you and that’s branding on its own.

Photo: bogeysbeer.com

It doesn’t matter what type or model of vehicle you own, as any car is capable of making a very effective marketing statement.

As every brand business is built on ideas, a car takes your core business ideas, love for it, and turns them into a professional, eye-catching tool to convey your ideas.

When it comes to branding and recognition, it is not enough to just get noticed. You want your business to be something that is remembered. You want your car brand to be well-known.

An example is remembering the old Peugeots that plied the famous Accra – Lagos route and the likes. Here proper maintenance and professional driving improved the appeal of the model. By developing your logo and your brand, and by using a strategic colour design with graphics, your vehicle or fleet of cars will transform you into being an unofficial brand ambassador.

Car branding

One other way to get noticed, and making a brand, is by advertising your car in areas where you do business in order to build name recognition and brand awareness. The automotive industry has evolved rapidly over the past decade and due to significant growth in factors like technology, innovation, and media, the industry has experienced changes to customers buying preferences to such an extent that 40 percent of car purchasers now spend their time researching online or being influenced by the ones they see on the roads being driven.

We live in an era of trends, one which is driven by all things that are high-tech and up-to-the-minute, state-of-the-art models as such traditional advertising venues won’t bring in the customers with the same speed and effectiveness as newer methods.

A car name is meant to tell a story just as making a pizza, the crust remains the same while the toppings vary based on the customer’s order. So, when you go through the automotive family and apply the same concept, you get what you just want.

Cheaper cars are cheap because they are not exclusive but the model could make you fall in love with them. The engine block of some vehicles is a result of a collaboration thus the chassis is from the parent company whiles the marketing and distribution rights are with another subsidiary.

Sharing brand look

Do you get bothered about the looks of a car before boarding? The fact is that people are everywhere and most often they consider the appearance of a car before deciding to hop on. Many people see things at many places and are awe-struck by the good promotional tactics that provide them with direct customer service and brand type. This has become more commonplace with the rise in the use of smartphones.

Now, with ride-hailing services like Uber, Bolt, Dropyn, Yango, Shaxi among others, for many years, automakers have been looking for business models beyond car sales to diversify their profit pools.

But with pay-per-use models like car sharing, ride sharing among other mobility modes becoming more common, the alternatives to outright ownership have been limited to short-term rental which may not always be cheap.

Icons as Brand Ambassadors

Most automakers have a line-up of brand ambassadors that typically consists of celebrities. Their role as a “brand ambassador” is to be the face of the brand and bring awareness to their products. Personality Icons endorsement can be a stroke of luck to most car brands – think Genevieve Nnaji and Jocelyn Dumas when they were made Range Rover Evoque brand ambassadors and the like of David Beckham who is Maserati brand ambassador.

Car manufacturers often invest heavily in big names, offering buyers not just a car but the promise a lifestyle like their brand ambassador. But do these “ambassadors” really work? Can they influence us in the choice of car brands we wish to buy?

A brief detail of a foreigner by name Steve Noble, who worked for years in the car industry and is now a director of content at the Glasgow-based BIG Partnership agency is well aware of the drawbacks – and the bonuses attached but he had this to say: “Attaching a personality to a car is very powerful because people can instantly relate and put themselves in the celebrity’s shoes or driving seat in this case.

“It will never go out of fashion as it is a quick fix but it has to be believed. Thierry Henri and the Clio worked because it’s a nippy French car and a French star.”

“Fast-forward to Cristiano Ronaldo in the Suzuki Swift and it feels forced because he would never drive that car. The reason celebrities are used is because they are brands on their own. We know their ideals and what they are famous for,” he added.

So, what pushes you for a drive or interests you to buy a particular brand of a car?

The writer is a Motoring Reporter and Production Lead at the Business & Financial Times (B&FT) newspaper. Contact:+233(0)24 3030088 / [email protected] / [email protected]





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