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Thursday 18 June 2009

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How weird that at a time when many rock-solid car makers are hanging on by a narrow thread of government good will, at least one brand is experiencing record sales.

I was speaking with someone who owns an Audi dealership the other day and he told me that sales records are being broken.

So why?  Well there are some taxation incentives and some other contributing causes.  And then he mentioned the brand factor.

It would appear that the brand values of Audi will allow purchasers to buy an extremely luxurious imported German car without the sort associated “stigma” they would get from a BMW or Mercedes purchase.

Conspicuous consumption is very much last year.

Flaunting wealth is not on the agenda in 2009 – even if many people are still rolling in cash.

For the well-heeled with a sensitivity to public perception, buying an Audi allows them to have their cake and eat it too.

Mercedes has enjoyed positioning as a status symbol for decades.  BMW has successfully appealed to the pleasure seeker.

But it’s not cool to thumb your nose at the people losing their jobs or declaring yourself a hedonist in the shadow of gloom.

Sensible, cautious, practical, value-for-money.  These are some of the dominant values currently in vogue.

But, of course, this thinking applies beyond choice of cars.  It’s just not as obvious.

In professional services, it is time to take some of same positioning.  If we position ourselves this way, we make it easier for our purchasers to justify our fees to their superiors.

This doesn’t mean we have to look like a monastery and break out the hessian suit.

It means avoiding looking and sounding flashy, arrogant or brash.

If you already have an Audi-type brand positoning, then that’s great. Take advantage of the fact that your prospects cannot currently justify buying in Mercedes-level professional services.

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