Having a prodigious opportunity to intern with Lamborghini, I got a chance to observe an auto car show at grass root level.
Captivating the media, consumers and other influencers at automotive shows can be a big challenge. Let’s start with the fact that most shows offer little surprises. For the most part, most new-car introductions or unveils are known by visitors well in advance of the show.
Another challenge of the major shows is the sheer scale. This year’s Auto Car Performance show – 2017 featured around 30 top car brands and foot fall of more than 60,000 auto fans. It’s easy to imagine how information overload can happen.
At the Auto Car Performance show – 2017, Mumbai, thousands of millennials, fashion conscious and concerned with individual expression, expressing themes of different car brands such as individuality, connectivity, mobility and energy . Meanwhile, the hustle of normal Mumbai life continues around them.
It’s an example of how auto makers are turning to less conventional, more experiential marketing techniques at auto shows to differentiate their brands and cut through the clutter.
Here are 7 learning I grasped from an auto show:
1. Making an impactful statement
These shows are an opportunistic approach for brands to send a message about what different brands stand for, where are they headed, and continue to move consumer perception in a meaningful way.
2. Eliminating superfluous glitz
Most auto brands are here not to make customers but just to provide a show to their fans, especially the luxury brands. Rest generally prefer to generate leads at an auto show to discuss business at a later stage. A simpler, visceral experience is nearly always more powerful than cramming extra design features and details for a no-customer, which may be distracting and which no one in the audience will remember or care when they leave the show.
3. Focus on the future
Brands having a heritage of engineering innovation, generally focus on reminding the audience of this but carefully hedges its dominance at an auto show. Automotive journalists, and many consumers, tend to care most about who is going to lead the industry into the future. Where the brands are going next is much more important than what brought them at this stage.
4. Challenge conventional thinking
Instead of clinging to past approaches just for the sole reason that they’ve worked in the past, auto show events are standing out as a great opportunity to show what differentiates different brands. They are formulating different approaches to emotionally engage the audience, surprising them while making them think differently about one brand in relation to its competitors.
5. Creating buzz
At these auto shows, auto companies are really trying to make a splash. They want to create buzz. Small businesses need to get customers excited over what they sell or provide. Engaging with customers who had a great experience dealing with the brand and asking them to write a review. Word of mouth recommendations can go a long way and help to bring in new customers. And if the buzz is good about your business, new customers can potentially become long-term customers.
6. Be inviting to be Found
Auto shows are all about putting potential buyers in the driver’s seat. Even if you can’t afford that expensive luxury Italian sports car, it’s pretty thrilling just to sit behind the wheel of one.
Showing prospects and customers “what’s under the hood” of the business. Clarifying on what the business are about and building awareness and engagement by doing so. Be inviting.
7. Positioning Differently
At car shows, automakers work uniquely to make a point of difference. Positioning on the basis of features, design, performance, services and brand intangibles are some common strategies one may look out at auto shows.
To know more about MISB Bocconi, visit here.