My Blueprint for a Saab Independence Day celebration

Victor Muller raised the idea of a Saab Independence Day in comments yesterday, which I think we all agree is a brilliant idea. It’s something that could be celebrated on an annual basis and has some great potential for promoting the brand.
Whilst the first idea from VM was to celebrate the day on the actual date of the deal being closed (a date yet to be determined, but it should happen within a week from now) I think there have been some good, practical suggestions in comments about this.
A few weeks ago, when the sale was first announced and January 26 was suggested as a possible date to mark in the future, I suggested the end of March. There have been similar suggestions, such as the end of April, in comments today.
The reason? Apparently it’s bloody cold in the northern hemisphere at this time of year!
Whilst a date in Spring might not be the actual date when Saab’s independence occurs, such a date does have the advantage of maximising the potential participation in such an event. If the event is going to be used as a means to promote the brand as well as celebrate it, then I think this should be given some consideration.
Here in Australia we have a ceremonial date to celebrate the Queens Birthday. It’s on the second Monday in June each year. Queen Elizabeth was actually born on April 24th so the date of the holiday bears no resemblance to a real birthdate (and can’t as the second Monday in June is a different date every year, anyway). I’m sure many of you have similar holidays in your country for anniversaries of some sort.
The point: the date of the celebration doesn’t necessarily have to be the date of the occasion. What’s more important is the meaning.
So, to ideas.
The idea I’m going to advance here is based on an event we put together here in Hobart a few years ago. It may or may not be applicable for your local circumstances but it proved to be a great event for both our local club and our local Saab dealership.
Those two groups are pretty important. The most natural way to celebrate an occasion such as this will be in the form of a Saab Car Club event on the local level. This gives Saab enthusiasts a chance to get together and celebrate an event that is meaningful to us as a people with a common interest.
By involving an engaged local dealership, that group gathering can take on an additional purpose – helping to spread information and goodwill amongst a wider community.
Let me tell you about our local event here, back in 2006.
Our local Saab dealership was a GM Holden dealership that had a few Saabs tucked away in one corner. One particular night back in July 2006, we cleared all the Holdens out of the showroom and filled the space with new Saabs the dealer had in stock, as well as selected older Saabs that were owned by club members.
Here’s a pic from that night….click.
The dealer invited current clients as well as prospective clients and past clients. The dealership provided some food and drink, and everyone enjoyed the chance to have a look over some of Saab’s historical models as well as the new ones.
I did a presentation as to what was going on with Saab at the time and that provided some extra value for the dealer as customers were getting a few inside scoops as to what was happening with the company.
All up, it was a very successful night for all concerned.
That’s just one example of a Saab Club and a dealership collaborating to celebrate and promote the brand. I had a good chat with Gary McConnell, the guy behind the Saab Support Convoy decals, and he’s had some good ideas of a similar nature with open days and press invitations, etc, which I hadn’t considered before.
I don’t know about you, but I think an occasion like a Saab Independence Day provides a perfect opportunity for dealerships to promote their product and services, as well as being a chance for Saab Clubs to celebrate Saab’s independence and do something to promote the brand at the same time.
What this will need in order to be successful is a commitment from dealers and a Saab Club in their area to form a partnership and work together towards making it a success. Together, you should know what will work in your area.
I’d be quite happy to offer SU as a receptacle for information. I could provide graphics for signs that people could download and even a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation that could be used as a basis for informing people about what’s happened in the last year. Whatever is needed, really.
Anyway, that’s just my idea – a collaboration between dealers and the Saab community to take the brand to the wider community, and at a time of year that will give them the best chance of a good attendance and participation rate. It’s something that could be repeated annually and if conducted in Spring, it shouldn’t conflict with other regular celebrations (Festival, IntSaab or SOC).
The final idea and celebration concept should come from Saab themselves, of course, and I’m sure they’re starting to give this some consideration already.

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