Top 5 Iconic Automotive Brand Positioning’s

Can you remember back in 1990 when we all had the new Ford advert positioning etched into our brains?

This was a clever move by Ford to mix marketing and music, drafting in pop royalty Sir Brian May. Even putting this article together, I’ve got “Everything we do is driven by you” spinning around my head.

Surprisingly though, Ford’s clever tactics were not enough for its positioning to get into my top 5. Getting it right with brand positioning takes a lot of consideration and research. Many well-known manufacturers have changed tactics over time to accurately reflect their customer demographic. Let’s take a look at my top 5:

  1. Vorsprung durch Technik
  2. The Ultimate Driving Machine
  3. The Power of Dreams
  4. There is no substitute 
  5. The Art of Performance

Vorsprung durch Technik

When Sir John Hegarty saw a faded poster on a factory wall in Ingolstadt 30 years ago, he didn’t realise he was looking at a statement that would transform the image of an entire country and become synonymous with Audi. Hegarty had no idea what it meant (‘progress through technology’), but once he’d been told, the idea stuck.

“This is the incidental nature of creativity, looking, watching, hearing stuff and it all goes in.”

Later, when they were looking for a statement to tie all the work together, the phrase resurfaced.

The Ultimate Driving Machine

As a brand, BMW has had some of the best positioning statements around. The “Ultimate Driving Machine” has become a classic.

BMW’s positioning is one of the oldest, too; they first coined the phrase in the 1970s as a way of targeting post-war baby boomers.

BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine was introduced by former Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Bob Lutz, who teamed up with ad agency Ammirati and Puris to create their standpoint.

The Power of Dreams

This global positioning was adopted in 2001, derived from one of founder Soichiro Honda’s sayings: “One must keep on chasing one’s dreams.”

Honda believes in dreams – dreams that bring joy to people.

Driven by a challenging spirit, seeking to create new value that brings dreams to life, through ‘The Power of Dreams’ Honda continues to share joy with its customers and society.

There Is No Substitute

For decades, Porsche has told us “There Is No Substitute” for its cars.

Two generations have grown up with that mantra. The positioning is in the subconscious of every car enthusiast. If you say something enough times, people will believe it.   

The positioning is also extremely effective in framing their product in terms of a loss. “There is no substitute” evokes an emotion that we’re missing out if we don’t have one.

This positioning can be found at the end of the body copy on Porsche adverts.

The Art of Performance

The simple, yet incredibly perceptive snippet, positions Jaguar as being aesthetically and technologically superior in one short sentence.

In the early years, Jaguar founder Sir Williams Lyons came up with the slogan Grace, Space, Pace to describe the British car manufacturer’s luxury performance vehicles.

Effective brand positioning involves creating a defined image, identity, and perception of your brand in the minds of your audience. It involves identifying the unique characteristics and attributes of your offering and communicating them in a way that differentiates your brand and resonates with your target market. Read more on the blog here.

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