At DAVID ALLISON INC we are always thrilled when a brand story we create with one of our clients makes a notable change in the way a company perceives itself, and in turn, is perceived by others. There's so much branding BS that goes on in the world, the idea of a simple brand story that can be shared and passed along sometimes seems too easy for companies to take seriously. But time and time again we've seen it work, and more and more companies are starting to realize it too. Let’s look at how this could work for Aston Martin – a brand that has consistently struggled in the US market.
In a recent Business Insider piece, Aston Martin CMO Simon Sproule said that he believes most Americans would “struggle” to define the Aston Martin brand. He’s right, too. And in response to this realization, he is attempting to rebrand Aston Martin, but, at the moment, Aston Martin is doing it the branding BS way – they’re throwing their customers a bunch of gimmicks, but without a simple, cohesive story behind the gimmicks. Sproule talks about increasing advertising, hiring a brand ambassador, and improving the customer experience, without talking about what the brand is.
If Aston Martin wants their advertising, ambassador and customer experience strategies to improve their position in the US in a meaningful way, they need a story for their brand. They need something simple to talk about, for their ambassador to promote, as a reason for their superior customer experience.
Sproule briefly mentions that he feels Aston Martin is a “quite inclusive luxury brand.” But what does he mean by that? Does he mean it’s a luxury brand for the layman - a la Acura or Lexus - or is it more nuanced? It could be that Aston Martin is not for the layman, but anyone with enough money is included, which would set Aston Martin apart from Rolls Royce and Bentley and Ferrari and Lamborghini, who all have extensive waiting lists. Whatever Sproule means by that statement, that story needs to be built on and then implemented effectively if they hope to increase their market share in the US.
Without that story, you’re not getting the best ROI on your marketing investments – those advertisements and brand ambassadors and after-purchase experiences.
Take a moment and ask yourself, does everyone in your company know your brand story?
What does the CEO say when asked to talk about what the company is all about?
What does the receptionist say on the weekend when asked the same question over brunch with her pals?
What does the VP Marketing say when she is briefing a communications firm?
If they aren’t all saying some personalized version of the same thing, your story needs to be unearthed, and written down. Everyone gets to tell the story in their own words. But everyone should be telling the same story.
Want to read the original story about Aston Martin in Business Insider? Find it here.