The auto space, regardless of geography, has a multitude of brands that can be thought of as iconic. Brands achieve iconic status for being the ultimate in luxury, for advancements in technology (such as EVs), or even for the classic shape of the vehicle. Regardless of what a brand is known for, it’s designed to be a statement of how the brand engages with the world, and how the brand wants customers to see it.
Earning iconic status is no easy task, and one achieved over a significant amount of time. Remaining at the top is just as challenging, and knowing the right steps to take at the right time is part of that continuous journey. Your customers are not static, and your competitors will be spending time focused on their own success, seeking ways to outmaneuver you.
Careful planning helps brands establish and maintain their edge with customers.
At Radius, our work with a variety of brands across sectors informs our agile and creative insights approach and helps us understand the strategic issues that will shape the path your brand should take toward its continued growth. We have developed the Brand Growth Navigator, a strategic framework to address the core of issues that drive and maintain successful, long-term gain. The path each brand takes differs dramatically based on the most critical business issues to address at that time, and it can be necessary to shift priorities at different phases, but the framework keeps brands focused on the important elements to nurture to achieve long-term success.
Earning iconic status is no easy task, and one achieved over a significant amount of time. Remaining at the top is just as challenging, and knowing the right steps to take at the right time is part of that continuous journey.”
For high-end brands, the customer experience is paramount. Brand loyalty must be constantly earned, and the key method to do so is by finding and improving upon critical experiences. For owners, after the initial purchase, the common point of interaction is the service visit. As ever this is a critical moment of connection, so reinforcing the positive relationship you have with the customer is critical to ensure that the experience leaves customers feeling good. All the other qualities such as an expert understanding of the vehicles and the ability to diagnose and fix the issues quickly are hygiene factors.
Communications as an iconic brand must walk a tightrope of two qualities: having brand heritage at heart of the choices that are made, but also ensuring that the brand can be seen to evolve over time. This is a great narrative device to provide the arc of where the brand has come from and the direction of travel to today, and to potentially hint at where the brand is heading next. This approach connects with customers of all ages, including those that remember the older models, and can show a family’s journey with the brand over generations. For more technologically driven brands, and also those launched more recently, keeping focused on future innovations deliver a pioneering sense of creating history is crucial. A great example of this is the tech firm ZF that have innovated a new heated seat belt technology for electric vehicles, to counter the challenges that EVs have in colder weather, so the reduction in energy usage helps keep range and battery efficiency high; and the belts have no compromise in their safety.
Communications as an iconic brand must walk a tightrope of two qualities: having brand heritage at heart of the choices that are made, but also ensuring that the brand can be seen to evolve over time. This is a great narrative device to provide the arc of where the brand has come from and the direction of travel to today, and to potentially hint at where the brand is heading next.”
Research insights help brands develop a clear strategy.
Brands that enjoy a combination of having iconic qualities and a defined position need to keep a consistent and watchful focus on which potential customers to target. A set of qualities across a broad range of consumer segments will always be true, but the most powerful implementation of segments and customer personas look to the nuances of what makes each unique, and how to activate against these. Implementing changes and managing them over time ensures you’ll reach and retain these customers while converting those who are currently driving other brands.
What is evident is that newer and developing brands, as well as those that have achieved iconic success all have to work to continue to stay relevant to customers. Your competitors won’t rest, and will always be looking at how to grow, and how to win over your customers. No brand can afford to stand still. With each brand there is no single way forward. Much like reading a map, there will typically be multiple possible routes to take, each with potential benefits and drawbacks. At Radius we have developed our own perspective, evolving our Brand Growth Navigator approach with each new engagement to help our clients plot their route through important strategic decisions.