We've been talking about reinventing the auto dealership experience at our last BrandingWire challenge. And if you think these monthly riffs are easy to think through, think again. On one side we play consumer, on the other, we play the side of the marketer -- would I recommend that to a client? Is it a good strategy, would it work? Once again I bow to the skill and stamina of fellow BrandingWire team members.
Certain cars do not need to go through the dealer at all; they can afford the rarefied world of demand outstripping supply. They win by making the road and your heart race faster. What happens when failure is not an option? The whole experience becomes about you, the buyer -- that's what luxury brands like Ferrari are extremely good at doing.
The car in the image sold at an auction for $9,281,250 at RM's Leggenda e Passione in Maranello on May 20, 2007. [Ferrari Testa Rossa, 1962, 330 TRI/LM] That is for legend and passion and you must believe in the first and have the second to write that kind of check. In other words, you buy the object itself because of the story it tells you about the story you want to tell yourself. If that makes any sense.
David McGregor builds on another story published in The New York Times about how De Beers has successfully increased the desire for diamonds with its famous "A Diamond is Forever" line. Note that De Beers has it all covered even for independent women like me -- you deserve to buy yourself a diamond ring and wear it on the right hand to show your declaration of independence. Very clever indeed.
Maybe it's the power of scarcity and the perception that you own a one of a kind piece, a collectible, that makes luxury brands feel more like objects of desire than the regular products. It may be only an illusion, as I wrote back in February, but it's our story too and we charge it with meaning -- our meaning.
With luxury brands the stakes are also much higher -- when you sell one or two items of something, you want to sell them for the asking price. And the items in question better be of good quality or the word gets around and you're done. So the brand story is aligned with the product's quality and aligned with the buyers' desire.
What prevents us from thinking this way of every single brand and product? What makes us think that there are unlimited opportunities to deliver poor quality and unfocused brands? Why do we think that the story needs to be compelling only for luxury brands?