I recently facilitated an AutoHook private event at the Atlanta Porsche Experience Center, and amidst revved engines and adrenalin-pumping launch buttons, I reminisced of past Porsche experiences. It was a customer event in Minneapolis where I had a chance to learn driving techniques from the Porsche Sports Driving School instructors (or maybe they learned something from me). I was ecstatic to be a part of that event thanks to a special invite from Bruce Bonine of Carousel Automotive Group (a.k.a. one of my favorite people on the planet).
The morning I pulled up to the event, my Mini Cooper seemed awkwardly out of place in a parking lot of $100k+ vehicles. I quickly dismissed my insecurities when I reminded myself why I chose a Mini Cooper and not a luxury car. When you work in the automotive industry, choosing the car you drive takes deep consideration because some feel your car says more about you than your business card. So why a Mini Cooper? Well, for one thing, a luxury car can say "I'm successful," but it can also say, "I'll overcharge you to pay for this thing." Alternatively, a cheap car may say, "I should have made better financial decisions." So I took the approach that I am most fond of, and that is the don't be a "Jones" be a "Rain" approach. I chose the MINI Cooper because it had personality and character, as does MINI's marketing. So back to my case in point, how does a small company WIN customers? With a BIG personality and a fierce mentality!!! Don't let the size of your budget prevent you from going toe to toe with your most vicious rivals; it may even throw them off. Look at this past marketing campaign from the head of MINI USA. He publicly challenged the head of Porsche to race, pitting the MINI Cooper S against the legendary Porsche 911 Carrera S on the track in Atlanta, right down the road from Porsche's US headquarters. MINI Cooper threw down the gauntlet, and the creativity was hilariously ingenious. Still to this day, it's one of my favorite examples of the scrappy underdog not rolling over.
If you haven't seen the campaign, check it out. It is hilarious.
Spoiler: Porsche beats MINI by only <2 seconds! Mini claims defeat but comments That's $38,000 per second.
The point is that MINI made themselves a contender by believing in their unique value proposition, and they had fun with it. How worthy you are of competition is a mindset. If you step up, your staff and customers will follow.
DREAM BIG, THINK BIG, BRAND LIKE A GIANT!
I know you're wondering, what does she drive now?
Well, I have a Nissan Leaf, which says nothing about my character; it just means I wanted the tax break and hate getting gas. However, I did drive 60 miles out of my way to buy that Leaf at a dealership that I would also note is a company that wins big in personality Carriage Nissan