3 steps to a strong brand–The MAP Difference

The automobile industry needs great brands, yet there are precious few. Increasingly, signs of commoditization are creeping into the business: less distinctiveness, less differentiation, more promotions, buying decisions based on price alone, decreasing margins.  Yet, in the hyper-competitive “new normal” of the industry, where annual sales are in the 12-14MM range, having a leverageable brand will be the difference between success and failure.

MAP is dedicated to helping manufactures build and re-build great automotive brands. Brands that are special and demand people’s attention. Brands that people want to own. Brands that command a premium price. Brands that are profitable.

MAP defines three strategic steps to powerful automotive branding:

1.  Definition of the brand’s core values.

2.  The brand brief, that isn’t brief.

3.  The brand road map.

The Brand’s Core Values are what guides everything the company has done historically as well as what it will do in the future.  Core values are the immutable truths about your brand/company, its beliefs.  Take one or more away and you have a different company.  Everything you do to create, build, re-build your brand comes from this belief structure.

Your brand “brief”  is not simply an expression of your values nor is it is a tagline,  both these approaches seek to summarize a brand, a brand is not simple, it is not “brief.” A brand is a series of promises that you have made and will make to employees, suppliers, dealer partners, stock holders, customers and prospects.  Your brand is all the experiences that have been created both intentionally and unintentionally. The MAP Brand “Brief,” is not brief, it is a complete and full articulation of the brand, it explains its history, beliefs, behaviors, accomplishments, failures and contributions.  This document seeks not to summarize a brand’s essence but rather to capture it in detail; it describes the brand’s character, what makes it authentic. It is the brand’s story.

The Brand Road Map defines how the brand’s story will be told, the language around it  How it will be articulated or demonstrated by each constituent and marketing tool.  How will customer service answer the phone? How will dealers present and sell the brand?   What language will management use when discussing the brand in a public forum?  How do we want customers and prospects to articulate the brand? How will communications express the brand?  What are acceptable and unacceptable expressions or behaviors.  The Brand Road Map keeps everyone and everything “on message” and ensures consistency that leads to a well-understood and articulated brand.

Most automobile manufacturers, with their partners, have worked very hard on pieces of this strategic approach but we believe that long term brand success is dependent on creating these three strategic elements in document form so that they can be used as a benchmark against which to judge behaviors, marketing activities and ideas over the long-term.

Depending on your needs, we can either work independently or with your partners to create this critical documentation that will guide your brand’s future and ensure success.