Bob's Blog

Fulfilling The Branding Prophecy

It is my habit to visit the local supermarket to buy the ingredients for my lunch most days; it gets me out of the office and allows me time to clear my head for the afternoon’s travails, and I suspect most of the other regulars are doing the same. When recently I pulled up into the car park, immediately after me and alongside came a Nissan Joke, or Cash-Cow or maybe not a Nissan at all, but a vehicle of that ilk (I could have said elk if I was into shameless self-promotion, but resisted). The chap that got out was a clone of all the chaps in the advertisements. The beard, the tight-legged burgundy hipster trousers, big boots, the lot. All that was missing was the simpering blonde, the wheeled kayak and a film crew. So I got to thinking: what came first, the car or his look, or his look then the car?

Honda have managed to corner an area of the market apparently without even trying. I struggle to remember having seen a campaign for the Jazz, yet in rural Lincolnshire they are everywhere. I’m not sure you are allowed to drive one unless you’re drawing a pension, they seem only to have one speed – 45 mph – which remains constant whether on the main roads or in the urban 30. Although I haven’t looked, the rear view mirrors appear to have been blacked out and the indicators have been replaced by a form of telepathy which I haven’t managed to find, much to the annoyance of my own car’s brakes.

There is, of course, a serious side to all of this. Stereotypes are a marketers dream, and a healthy proportion of the consumer population slip into them as with a comfortable pair of slippers. Take note of the car industry then; they are the masters of manipulation when it comes to identifying, selling to and cornering a market. All you need are professional marketers on your side. Oh, and a budget.