In case anyone thought I was just posing next to a random Aston Martin V8 Vantage in my earlier post, my friend Matt Clark, who runs a client ﬁrm that buys a few advertisements in Lucire, took this pic of yours truly behind the wheel. (Those A-pillars are huge.) It reminds me of an image in Wheels in the 1980s where Juan-Manuel Fangio is driving his Mercedes-Benz, except there, Fangio made the car look good. Here, the car makes me look good.
Now that I have caught me making a total tosser of myself au blog, I have to wonder why. When I drove a Porsche 911 I couldn’t care less about who saw me, nor did I blog about it. True, I didn’t have this blog at the time, but I had the Beyond Branding Blog at which I could vent.
Therein lies the secret of 21st century marketing: ﬁnding afﬁnity. People expect to be able to. When that connection is made between a consumer and a product, the consumer will talk the product up to the hilt, becoming its evangelist. And if you have a product that is little more than a commodity—and competing cars share many of their components, after all—it is this afﬁnity that will make the difference.
Why else would Ford and GM own so many brands? Each appeals to a different sector of the market, not income-wise, but psychologically. Understand that psychology, be present at the causes or events that that type of consumer supports, and you have yourself an audience. And if you don’t know those causes, then ﬁnd out using a web site or other means of research—the process itself creates afﬁnity.
In Aston Martin’s case, it has a heritage that I love, but it might want to start thinking about how to win future consumers, especially if the V8 Vantage will raise the company’s output and the cars become more commonplace. Some parts of the past can be used: the fact David Brown, when he owned Aston Martin, kept the workforce going for as long as possible while losing money on each car, appeals to me. It may be expressed in the Ford of Europe commitment to its Works Council, signed in 2003. If the carbon ﬁbre and aluminium are produced using a process that has little impact on the environment, then it is an added bonus that links in perfectly to the brand’s desired high-tech direction (away from the old world ideas of the last V8s and the Virage).
One thing is for sure: exclusivity is a declining notion for Aston Martin, as James Bond’s lifestyle becomes more attainable for the average Joe. Something else needs to be there for the decades to come.
Del.icio.us tags: Aston Martin | CSR | social responsibility | heritage | brand | branding | history | exclusivity | marketing | James Bond | consumer | afﬁnity Posted by Jack Yan, 06:29
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