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  • Auto Parts are all About Performance? We don't Think so

    05 December 2016
    S.Point, Member Firm (China)

    01 Question

    If you search an answer about car films on a Q&A social network, you'll find the people are too "realistic". They all talk about the performance of car films-visible light transmittance and total solar heat rejection rate...Like those "stubborn rationalists" in "Big Bang", they have extremely stringent requirements for the products.

    Quality is indeed important, but can it be more interesting? This is what S.POINT strategists expect from the auto parts industry. When they began cooperation with Eastman, an American chemical company, they decided to bring emotion and personality into the company's car film brand. How to create a personalized car film brand became a challenge for S.POINT strategists. But more importantly, would the consumers accept and pay for the brand's personality? As mentioned earlier, the people are more concerned about the performance of auto parts.

    02 Insight

    S.POINT strategists conducted a survey on China's auto parts market. At present, at least in the Chinese market, the auto parts business model is "sales-driven" strategy. That is to say, parts manufacturers do not directly sell products to consumers, but choose to cooperate with 4S stores. When consumers buy a new car, the auto parts will be "sold" to them as "gifts" or part of the "package".

    So the car film industry has more or less the nature of B2B marketing. This made S.POINT strategists think, "How did Michelin become an auto parts provider with brand personality?" Their answer was that the food list launched by Michelin has greatly improved its image as it directly provides consumers with emotional needs and consumer content closer to their lifestyle.

    The strategists were thus inspired. They believed that Eastman should also have brand-related communication with consumers rather than simply focus on the B2B image. So the fundamental problem that the strategists needed to help Eastman solve is what the brand positioning is.

    03 Solution

    "Weakening functionality." S.POINT strategists made this tough decision because not many people dared to do that in the auto parts industry. But the strategists were confident because through careful research and consumer insight and a series of studies including identification of consumer value points, analysis of consumer categories, identification of key consumer needs, analysis of cross-industry examples, and use of brand positioning ladder development rules, they've found suitable brand positioning for Eastman.

    The external and internal, the extreme and traditional-the strategists used the two dimensions to segment different car film brands in the minds of consumers. Eastman's car film brand should position between "the external and the extreme". The consumers that fall into this range are sensitive to emotional appeals driven by taste, quality and power.

    "Self-improvement", "quality" and "freshness" are several orientation directions that S.POINT strategists finally gave. Behind these seemingly simple words is a collection of product characteristics and consumer insight. For example, the sense of "freshness" is an emphasis on consumers' intuitive feeling brought by light transmittance as well as the kind of freshness that Eastman's car film brand wants to bring to consumers at the brand level. And "self-improvement" is not just the upgrading of product quality, but the drive that consumers need to pursue a higher quality of life.

    S.POINT is not unfamiliar with finding positioning for a brand. But for each case and industry, the strategists make a new exploration and attempt. Not matter for S.POINT or the brands it serves, innovation is indispensable.

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