Saab marketing: some food for thought

There hasn’t been much in terms of advertising and branding coming out Trollhattan since Saab were sold back in February. Whilst there’s a good story to tell, they haven’t started telling it yet. This is most likely due to the Saab 9-5 launch, which will happen – in an official marketing and production sense – late this month. Why tell the story too far in advance of that?
That makes sense.
What I’ve been prompted to think about today, however, is what form that marketing message will take. That prompting came from the AutoExtremist, Peter De Lorenzo:

No, I don’t care how Chevy’s brand minions try to spin it – [Chevy’s new ad slogan] “Excellence for All” is a non-starter. It smacks of people who don’t understand the brand, don’t understand the history of the brand, and who don’t understand the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that is staring them in the face. You don’t get to re-launch an iconic American brand very often. And when you do it requires a fundamental understanding of that brand – where it has been, where it is now, and where you want to take it – before one creative thought can be put to paper or rendered on a computer screen.

The bit that slapped me across the cheek is the “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” bit.
Saab, even more than Chevrolet, have an opportunity to capitalise on their story and re-create their public image in a manner of their choosing. I’m not saying I’m unhappy with “Move Your Mind” (actually, I love it) or the current Saab graphic presentation or house style.
I’m just hoping that they’ve been hard at work examining and refining this – making sure that they grab this opportunity with both hands and cast the company in the absolute best light possible.
In the end, it’s all about the product. But the message can be crucial in getting people to see the product.
Saab is a company with a fascinating story to tell, from their national heritage to the aviation connection, from their design emphasis to their engineering expertise. There’s also the brilliant sale story and the future to talk about as well. There’s plenty to draw from and I hope they’re planning on doing so.

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