On Tuesday afternoon about 200 cars were on display in Ocean Avenue, Carmel for the non-paying public to get up close and kick the tires (I don’t think so). With so many wonderful machines from the past century of motoring in better than showroom condition, I was given to ask, “What is the most prestigious and enduring brand for any motor car, for the past 100 years?”
There are only a handful of manufacturers still around around after 100 years that are still going, let alone one that is 97 years old and one of the World's Superbrands. One brand in my opinion rises above them all - and that is Rolls Royce. I then asked myself the question, “what’s in the brand Rolls Royce…what does it mean to own one, who buys them and why?”.
A bad photograph of a beautiful pre-WW2 Rolls Royce drop-head coupe that inspired this article.
Rolls Royce Market SegmentationThe Rolls Royce Company from its inception has hand-made motor vehicles for an elite and fortunate few individuals wealthy enough to own one. The target market is a very clear market….individuals with an appreciation for the finer things in life; old money or new money, and plenty of it; with entry-level pricing around $500,000, net worth of customers typically exceeds $35Million.
Packard Circa 1936
Brand Values (Positioning Pillars)
Quality-PerfectionThe quality standard required for manufacturing every Rolls Royce and preparation for delivery is perfection.
Engineering-ExcellenceThroughout its history Rolls Royce has striven to incorporate technological innovation into its vehicles.
Reliability - Excellence in Customer ServiceFrom the Rolls Royce Website, “Taking delivery of your Rolls-Royce is one of life's genuine pleasures. But thanks to our personalised after-sales service, and the comprehensive support you'll receive from your dealership, this is only the beginning”.
Emotional Response to the BrandI recall my first encounter in the showroom on Park Lane in London; the silent thud of the door closing, the seat enfolding my behind, yet sitting up and supporting me. Leather, stitching, walnut, silence, the weight of the steering wheel and a wistful feeling of envy, knowing that the odds of ever owning one, were very long indeed.
Jaguar SS (gorgeous)
What is in your Brand?Can your sales and marketing team engage buyers around their interests and your brand values? I have worked in the technology industry for my whole career and aligning both sales and marketing around the values of the brand has been a constant challenge.
Packard Circa 1930
Conveying your Brand Value PropositionFortunately there are now well understood processes for creating brand messaging and clarifying your brand value.
1. I have developed and use the Marketing Messaging Architecture with scores of clients as part of a Sales and Marketing Alignment process.
2. Once the Messaging Architecture has been captured, the value creation message needs to be embodied in the Website copy.
If you want to generate inbound leads from your Website (who wouldn't?), then an Inbound Marketing strategy which uses brand values, Win Themes and keywords created in the messaging architecture is the next logical step and HubSpot is the leading innovator and thought leader in this field.
3. Ultimately your sales team will be charged with engaging buyers around your brand. There is no better process to help salespeople learn and know your brand value proposition than creating visual storytelling and training your team in using visual confections to tell stories. The outcome of this process is for your sales team to own your brand values and to enable them to engage any buyer around their issues and have your value creation story unfold naturally in conversation.