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Introduction to Brand Management
January 28, 2008
Brand Brief & Brand Story
Maintain the Heritage of the Brand
..the modern embodiment of the classic British ultra-luxury “saloon,” albeit one that comes from a
German-owned automaker. - Jim Gorzelany, Forbes Auto
For over 100 years the motorcar company was British owned, but since 1998 it has been
owned by BMW, a German company. The brand must work even harder to keep the
English lineage of reliable, ultra luxury cars suitable for royalty in tack. A potential point of
concern could surface with the RR4 since the prototype has been spotted on a BMW 7-
Offer Them Something, They Cannot Get Themselves
Our customers like a degree of kudos. They can tell friends they had dinner with Rolls-Royce, or they
met the designer of the Phantom. – Graeme Grieve, Rolls-Royce's sales and marketing director
Rolls-Royce buyers are part of a very small niche at the pinnacle. This makes a Rolls-Royce
prospect difficult to address especially with staff, friends, and associates around to protect
them from unwanted sales pitches. Opt of little or no conventional media to reach these
deep pockets instead focus efforts on event marketing.
Protect the Brand While Building new Relationships
We don’t make any allowances for pre-owned vehicles – a car fit for Rolls-Royce Provenance has to be
virtually faultless. – Rolls-Royce motorcars .com
Given unprecedented demand for current models combined with the fact that more than
six out of ten of all Rolls-Royce motorcars built are still roadworthy, there is an
opportunity for another type of Rolls-Royce owner to emerge – those who want the
quality offered by Rolls-Royce , but are unable to afford the straight out of Goodwood
Pop-Culture Among the Nouveau Riche
Having snapped up country estates and English football clubs, the nouveau riche now
want what is set to become the must-have status symbol of 2008, a customized Rolls-
Royce. – Bojan Pancevski, Telegraph.co.uk
I. The Heritage
II. State of the Business
III. Target Market
IV. Images and Associations
Trademarks & Taglines
V. Brand Positioning
VI. Emotional Rewards & Owner Experiences
VII. Brand Values
VIII. Brand Story
a. Historical Trademarks
c. Pop Culture Examples
I. The Heritage: Rolls-Royce Over the Years
Rolls-Royce is one of the most fascinating and well-known brands in the world, the luxury
motor car par excellence. For over 100 years, motorcars of the Rolls-Royce brand have
stood for truly outstanding engineering, quality and reliability.
Rolls-Royce grew from the British electrical and mechanical business established by
Frederick Henry Royce in 1884. Royce built his first motorcar in 1904 and in May of that
year met Charles Stewart Rolls, whose company sold quality cars in London. An agreement
was reached that Royce Limited would manufacture a range of cars to be exclusively sold
by CS Rolls & Co – they were to bear the name Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce Limited (1906 – 1987)
Rolls-Royce Limited was a car and, later, aero-engine manufacturing company founded.
Rolls-Royce was nationalized in 1971 and the present Rolls-Royce plc was re-privatized in
1987. The automobile company was separated in 1973.
Rolls-Royce PLC (1987 – Present)
Rolls-Royce PLC, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for use on land,
at sea and in the air, operates in four global markets - civil aerospace, defense aerospace,
marine and energy.
Rolls-Royce Motor (1973 – 1998)
Rolls-Royce Motors was created from the de-merger of the car business from Rolls-Royce
Limited in 1973. In 1998 the production facilities at Crewe plus the Bentley name were sold
to Volkswagen, whereas BMW acquired, for the continued development and production
of Rolls-Royce motorcars, the rights to the Rolls-Royce marque for automotive business
from Rolls-Royce plc.
Rolls-Royce Motorcars (1998 – Present)
From 1998 to 2002 BMW supplied engines and parts for both brands. It was not until
January 1, 2003 that only BMW would be allowed to name cars quot;Rolls-Roycequot;, and
Volkswagen’s former Rolls-Royce/Bentley division would build only cars named quot;Bentleyquot;.
For the new generation of Rolls-Royce motorcars, an engineering and design team was
established in central London during 1999 to create the car, which was to become the new
Phantom. The Phantom, launched in 2004, is the first all-new Rolls-Royce in nearly 40 years
and was built in the all-new Rolls-Royce plant at Goodwood in West Sussex, England.
II. State of the Business
At the 2008 North American International Auto Show, Rolls-Royce announced a record
increase in sales for 2007. Last year 1010 Rolls-Royce vehicles were sold which means a
25% increase compared to 2006. The largest markets for Rolls-Royce are North America, UK
and China with the best dealerships being Beverly Hills, London and Abu Dhabi.
The Rolls-Royce dealer network expanded to 80 in 2007, with new showrooms including St
Petersburg, Kiev and Dresden. The top selling dealers worldwide in 2007 were, respectively,
Beverly Hills, London, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo and Dubai. Abu Dhabi saw the highest annual
increase, with sales more than doubling.
Looking ahead in 2008, Rolls-Royce has announced its intention to launch a two-door
coupé model, based on the Phantom, in the summer. Further into the future a new Rolls-
Royce model series, to sit alongside the Phantom models, will be launched in 2010,
currently named RR4.
III. Target Market
Rolls-Royce is meant to appeal to a select few individuals who happen to enjoy a lifestyle
commensurate with their stratospheric levels of net worth. John Del Tatto, a sales
professional at Manhattan Motorcars, Inc., says the Rolls-Royce buyer falls into one of two
groups: Old Money or New Money. The old money buyer wants an heirloom that he or
she can pass down through the generations. The new money buyer, on the other hand, is
looking for instant recognition.
Rolls-Royce buyers are almost all self-employed, heirs to large fortunes, royalty or
entrepreneurs. The person Rolls-Royce describes as its target customer is someone who
has three, four or five homes; a net worth of around $30 million; and around six other
exotic, collectable or ultra-luxury cars. These customers would see the company’s base
price of almost half a million dollars as, simply, membership dues in a very special
automotive club. A club Cap Gemini estimates numbers about 85,000 worldwide.
The brand caters to impulse buyers who charge a motorcar on a credit card and others
who spend time thinking about what they want, ordering special features and waiting for
delivery. The gestation period for a final sale can then be anywhere from two hours to
IV. Images and Associations
Trademarks, Taglines & Slogan
(See Appendix A & B for historical trademarks and advertisements)
“The Best Car in the World”
quot;Trusted to Deliver Excellencequot;
“Design Without Compromise”
“At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the
electric clock.” – David Ogilvy
Pop Culture (See Appendix C for more examples of pop culture)
Rolls-Royces have often been used in popular culture as a stereotype of wealthy people,
particularly millionaires. Examples include the one driven by the eccentric millionaire in
the film, City Lights (1931), starring Charlie Chaplin. Other examples include:
Kraft Foods Poupon's pompous Rolls-Royce rider
Jay-Z reportedly bought his pop-superstar girlfriend, Beyoncé, a 1959 Rolls-Royce
convertible, said to be worth $1 million, for her 25th birthday.
Suspender Love by Scorpions; Chorus: Give me the long faced girl on the magazine;
Show me the white Rolls-Royce in the rain
Sean quot;Diddyquot; Combs has the limited-edition Rolls-Royce Phantom estimated to cost
Nicknames: Rolls; Roller
Clubs open membership to anyone with a genuine interest in Rolls-Royce and Bentley
cars, whether owners or not. In addition, the clubs have a justifiable reputation for
friendliness and informality. The Rolls-Royce Owners Club (1951, U.S.) and Rolls-Royce
Enthusiasts Club (1957, U.K.) are the oldest and largest organizations with local clubs
around the world.
V. Brand Positioning
The Household Name for Over-The-Top Automobile Luxury
Core competency: Outstanding engineering, quality, and reliability
The company's founders wanted to build cars that would not only set speed and
endurance records, but also so quiet you would not hear them coming. Beginning with
the 1907 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost, the company has had a tradition of naming vehicles for
silent things: Ghosts, Wraiths, Spirits, Shadows, Clouds and Phantoms. It is obvious Rolls &
Royce understood the importance of vertical differentiation even before it was termed.
The obsession with silence continues today: at slow speeds, the Phantom's exhaust gases
are sent through a longer route than they would be at high speeds, a process which
deadens sound while the Phantom is driving in a city or other environment at quot;parade
Through strategic use of “family names”, it further enhances associations with the Rolls-
Royce brand. It also aids the sales process by supporting the corporate objective, “design
VI. Emotional Rewards & Owner Experiences
There is simply no sneaking around in a Phantom. As you drive down the street you can see camera
phones tracking your every move. If you treasure anonymity, this is not the car for you. - Bob Austin,
Purchasing a Rolls-Royce is an exceptional experience. The cars indulge and delight
owners, passengers, and passersby alike with their unique blend of opulence, refinement,
dynamism combined with the finest materials and hand-craftsmanship. Therefore, it is
important to note that for most brands customers are more likely to share negative
perceptions of the company than offer accolades. Rolls-Royce is the exception to the rule.
Before the new Phantom was launched, Rolls-Royce had the image of a car for middle-aged men, but the Phantom is unique: it has both faces -
old and young. – Nigo, Japanese fashion designer
It doesn't get much more stately, opulent and luxurious than a Rolls-Royce. For decades, the marque has set a standard that other luxury
carmakers have aspired to reach. – Edmunds.com
We had it personalised by including a number of additional bespoke details. I think owning a car such as the Phantom is tantamount to possessing
a rare art masterpiece; it is something that will remain distinguished and valuable for all time. - Sheikh Jaber Al-Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, a
member of Kuwait's ruling family
Actually a fabulous car…I have one on order, have driven the Drophead and the Phantom, and both are amazing. The quality is tops. –
RRDrophead (Edmunds.com RR Discussion Forum)
Of course, nothing is ever completely perfect.
I just don't get it. I don't get how anyone could find that car attractive. It is truly hideous to my eyes. – John Marco (Edmunds.com RR
…excellence had to overcome a lack of the mechanically adventuresome, as a Rolls-Royce came to lack the technological sophistication of far cheaper
German sedans. – Daniel Pund, Edmunds Sr. Editor speaking of the older Rolls-Royce models
VII. Brand Values
The hydraulic tappets are assembled while immersed in a tank of paraffin to prevent minute particles
of dust from settling on the delicate working surfaces before being matched to tolerances of 10,000th
of an inch. – London Times Advertisement
Rolls-Royce has prospered for more than 100 years because of its attention to details. Each
car has a history book created as it is being assembled. The person responsible signs for
every major assembly, test and inspection. Once bought it will bear the name of the
owner, and is a complete record of every stage of the manufacture of the Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce is one of the few brand that does not require ownership for one to feel
passionately about the brand and what it represents. The tale of John Lennon and the old
woman is one example that demonstrates this point.
Shortly after John Lennon purchased a Phantom V in 1965, he became bored with the
matte black finished and had it repainted. Lennon’s newly painted psychedelic car drew
some public outrage when an old woman, in London’s downtown, attacked the car using
her umbrella while yelling: quot;You swine, you swine! How dare you do this to a Rolls-Royce.quot;
Obviously, the Rolls-Royce is passionately regarded in England as one of the many
symbols of British dignity!
Among the world's most exclusive automakers, two brands tower above the others: Ferrari
for performance, and Rolls-Royce for comfort. The Phantom has succeeded in its mission
to make sure Rolls-Royce remains the household name for over-the-top automotive
luxury. The car, in fact, borders on the sinful and decadent.
Rolls-Royce in itself is the ultimate icon representing a person’s status; however, there are
two identifiable features that make a Rolls-Royce a Rolls.
quot;The Spirit of Ecstasy,quot; designed by Charles Robinson Sykes, most aptly expresses the
sensation of driving a Rolls-Royce car. She has adorned the radiators of Rolls-Royce
motorcars since 1911 and is certainly the most attractive and best-known motorcar mascot
in the world.
The Rolls-Royce radiator grille is made entirely by hand and eye - no measuring
instruments are used. It takes one man, one day to make a Rolls Royce radiator, and then
five hours are spent polishing it.
VIII. From the Outside Looking In: The Rolls-Royce Brand Story
Normally I would have worn a t-shirt and jeans to run errands on a Saturday. Instead I
carefully applied make-up and fussed with my hair prior to putting on a classic Chanel
ensemble complete with designer pumps before heading to the Rolls-Royce showroom. It
may seem a little over the top, but ones desire to own a Rolls-Royce can elevate a lifestyle.
Perfection is the only accepted standard at Rolls-Royce. Out of respect for the brand, I
wanted my appearance to communicate a similar message.
I was greeted upon arrival by Janie, the receptionist, who asked me that although I could
look at the Porsche, Lamborghini, etc. showrooms alone, could I wait for a sales
professional to escort me into the closed off and separate area that housed Rolls-Royce?
Quickly unenthused about cars that could never pass the standards set by Rolls, I soon
opted for the seating area.
“No,” I heard Janie tell some high school aged boys. “No celebrities have come by today,”
drowning the hopes of budding celebrity spotters. Thinking about the wealth that has
walked these rooms, I began imagining life as an owner of a Rolls. Of course, any high
profile Rolls-Royce owner will need a driver. Lucky for me since 1922 Rolls-Royce has run a
chauffeur’s training course at its School of Instruction in Crewe, Cheshire. The fact it is still
going today is testimony to the quality and professionalism of the course. Not to mention
the valuable service it provides to owners worldwide as drivers are assessed on etiquette,
car care, maintenance, maneuverability, skid control and formal driving.
“Ms. Marbury,” said a refined and immaculately dressed sales professional. “I was told you
would like to view the Roll-Royces?” Once around the corner and catching a full view of
the coveted Phantom & Phantom DHC, it really hit home how opulence with refinement
was, and still is, the defining criterion of the marque. From the hand-cut and hand-
assembled signature grill, detailed to exacting tolerances and signed by its craftsman, to
the iconic quot;Flying Ladyquot; mascot. Rolls-Royce spares no expense when it comes to quality.
Nervously, I climbed into the Phantom only to have my aching, heeled feet massaged by
its thick, sheepskin floor mats. This is when the Rolls-Royce experience of total pampering
begins. It seems as if the entire automobile was made with me in mind. The seats were a
joy to perceive as with each encounter they gently cupped and supported my lower back
with the care of loving partner. No wonder they are eagerly purchased by royalty across
the globe as coach built versions of these one-off, hand-built luxury automobiles.
In fact -- at the risk of sounding melodramatic -- I felt a bit empty inside after exiting the
Rolls-Royce, knowing that it would be unlikely to find myself at the helm of another car
that will spoil me as much.
Gelinas, Gabriel. You Definitely Have Arrived. Canadian Underwriter. Don Mills: Fall 2007. pg.
45, 1 pgs
Halliday, Jean. Ultra Luxury Cars Avoid Traditional Marketing Path. Advertising Age. (Midwest
region edition). Chicago: Apr 27, 1998. Vol. 69, Iss. 17; pg. 27, 1 pgs
Hoy, Peter. Hip-Hop Hot Rods. Forbes.com (2007)
Katz, Alan. Posh Cars Pile Up As Demands Drops. Business Report. (2004)
Lienert, Dan. Driving the New Rolls-Royce Phantom. Forbes.com (2004)
Lienert, Dan. What Your Car Says About You. Forbes.com (2007)
No Author Given. Building and Managing a Brand. Chilli Breeze.
Pancevski, Bojan. Super-rich make marque on Rolls Royce. The Telegraph. (Dec 30, 2007)
REED, John. Rolls works hard on its soft sell MARKETING. Financial Times. London (UK): Feb 6,
2007. pg. 10
Clifton, Simmons, et al. Brands and Branding. The Economist. (2003)
Manhattanmotorcars. New York, New York (Visited 19 January 2008)
Rolls-Royce motorcars – www.rolls Royce motorcars .com
Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club - www.rrec.co.uk/website/index.asp
Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club - www.rroc.org/
Proper Motor Car – www.propermotorcar.com
Wikipedia. – www.wikipedia.com
Appendix A – Historical Trademarks
Appendix B – Advertising
Appendix C – Pop Culture
“Of course I didn’t just marry you for
your money dear. There was also your
house in France, the Rolls Royce, your
Ciara is chauffeured during
her 22nd birthday.
Clothing – 1980s T-Shirt
Rolls-Royce provided a new Phantom for
MTV European Music Awards and invited
artists to autograph the back seat. The seat
was removed and turned into a sofa that
was later sold for $25,000. The money was
donated to the Staying Alive Foundation, a
global organization dedicated to
preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS.
This is a very rare 2-Stamp set of a classic
automobile from the Auto 100 Stamp Set
commemorating the first 100 years in the
History of the Automobile (1886 to 1986).