Aston Martin: brand perfection
Not many companies have achieved the luxury of being in total control of the perception of their brand. Many companies are too small to be able to get the kind of exposure required to express the values of their brand, while some companies are so big and unwieldy that their brand has a life of its own and can’t be easily controlled.
Some time ago I was one of a handful of people who had the good fortune of listening to Aston Martin’s chief designer, Merek Reichman, wax lyrical on one of the finest brands in the luxury car market, and certainly one of the best brands in Britain.
Reichman, standing over 6 foot, and as cool and understated as the car he was describing, unfolded the secret of their brand success with barely a mention of 007.
Power – Beauty – Soul.
Yes the car was powerful, he said, but the key was beauty with a soul. The beauty is obvious to anyone who has been within 50 yards of an Aston Martin, but what of the soul? What did he mean by that? In a word, heritage. Aston Martin is over 100 years old. But it is not just any old heritage, but one which has been nurtured by knowledge and understanding since the beginning, simply getting better and better with each passing year.
The company started out with the aim of producing a car of great design beauty, inside and out. And that remains the aim. They were, and are, in it for the long haul. Some people are much more driven by the desire to achieve something great than they are to acquire a great amount of money.
But the money tends to follow.
That is, unless they neglect their marketing – the creation and communication of a brand.
But Aston Martin understand marketing and they manage their brand with the precision of the machines they use to build their cars. They tend to their brand with the same care and attention as the model makers who form and smooth their clay moulds.
The British company, Acorn Computers, should have been the Aston Martin of the computing world, but they blew the marketing; and as a result, you’re thinking, ‘Acorn who?’
Do you have a clear vision of your brand? Does everything the company does move closer and closer to the realisation of that vision? Or are you so mired in trying to deal with day to day troubles of the company that you have no idea what the big picture is supposed to look like?
Stop, make space to think, and formulate a brand vision. Then aim for brand perfection.