Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Michelin Guide: The Beginning Of Brand Content

A lot of marketing and communication consultants are luring to develop some brand contents for their client. In the information age which we are living right now, it is hence important for one brand to go beyond its ability to deliver good products or services in order to create a strong positionning strategy.

Indeed, now marketing is not only based on one company/product quality and differences to aquire a position as a leader, now marketing is mainly based on experience. And therefore, the prospective of building strong positionning is also evolving.

Now companies need to create added value for its customer by advising him the best as he can with the use of its products. The brand must be recognized as a reliable source of information, and a leader of thought in a specific field:

  • Nike set up some sport programs, for example by allowing customers to measure their performances and to compare them to others.

  • Special K proposes some materials (CDs mainly) in order to help its customers to lose weight.

  • French retailer Castorama is proposing some tutorials to help people to use its construction materials in order to achieve their projects.

But brand content has not borned with the Internet. It has actually been existing for a long time. One of the most remarkable example of brand content is the Michelin Guide. The first Michelin Guide edition has been edited back in 1900.

At first, the Michelin guide was released as a marketing material dedicated to Michelin's customers while buying some tires. The guide encountered a large success as it was giving to the small population of car owners (about 3000 in France at this time) the ability to find precious information about hotels and restaurants.

The guide has experienced such success that in 1920 it stopped to be given for free, but was commercialized to be sold in book stores.

This story shows you how Michelin has been able to create marketing materials which was in phase with its positionning and set it up as an expert of car cruising.

And as a matter of fact, it shows how well it did as this marketing material became actually a great source of revenue thanks to its quality.