Benjamin Brodbeck AUTOmativ Publicist 2

Benjamin recently joined BARE as an Automotive Evaluator. He has a true dedication to learn and share everything he knows about the automotive industry, partly inspired by a father who works for an iconic car brand. We couldn’t resist catching up with him for an interview to learn more.

Hi Benjamin, tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Benjamin Brodbeck, I’m 24 years old and I have a degree in the field of automotive industry. Music has a great significance in my life – especially Jazz music. I play the piano and perform with the Jazz trio BBQJazz from Stuttgart. I enjoy leaving my well-structured day behind me and finish it with improvised and self-written songs.

Besides my studies and music, I express my passion for cars by writing as a freelancer and in photography. Right now I am committed to building the online-magazine AUTOmativ.de.

For the past 40 years my father has worked at Porsche. During my childhood he led the department which created exclusive equipment and design options and limited edition cars. I was raised in an environment of well-designed sports cars and – thanks to my father – have always been in touch with different people who were working in very varied positions in the car industry.

How do you see the evolution of the Automotive industry?

At the university, questions like that filled up whole papers. But in short – I think we have a significant trend towards an immense diversity and individualization of cars. This trend will intensify together with the trend of delivering unique customer experiences at car dealerships and at different events to create a strong customer loyalty.

Customers subconsciously connect a car brand with the testimonies, statements and behaviour of the employees. If the advice and the service they get is not satisfying, this will have an impact on the image – even though it may has just been one person.

So the quality of service at dealerships impact the brand?

Every single car dealership has a great impact on the company’s image – they are the front line. First there are certain standards that a car dealership has to comply with; second, there are individual philosophies that should match with the company’s identity.

Car brands that do not ensure their car dealerships comply with their standards (in comparison to competitors) by inspecting them, preferably using a third party, are in danger of losing contact with the foundation of their company – the customers.

After getting my degree I spent a lot of time looking at  customer satisfaction and the behaviour of car salespeople at car dealerships – but was never able to do such an evaluation myself. I was very curious about the questions and the focus of the first evaluation that BARE International sent me.

The evaluations went well and were very interesting: You always have your checklist in mind and compare the salesman’s behaviour and the characteristics of the dealership with your checklist and tick them off.

Was the experience as an Evaluator a benefit for you personally?

Besides getting to know very different cars on various test drives, you also have the possibility to identify different strategies of the salespeople and – at least partly – use them yourself later on.  On top of all the required formalities, every salesperson has room for manoeuvre in which they have to persuade with affability and courtesy. Every good salesperson is an artist, who relies on their strategy and improves with every new customer that they serve. To observe this behaviour is fun and can help in your own everyday life.

What recommendation would you give to the car industry?

As I said, using the tool of mystery shopping and evaluation, companies can gain knowledge about problems. This can lead to relevant actions to ensure compliance with guidelines, detect weaknesses and reveal further potential improvements.

The results shape the foundation of benchmarking between competitors and thereby constitutes an important part of the requirements for a successful customer relations.

One thing is for sure: far too few customers complain when the service isn’t pleasing. Most of them just stop coming. Therefore it is even more important – and in the company’s own interest – to conduct mystery shopping.

Stay tuned for more to come from Benjamin Brodbeck, guest blogger for We Are Cars.

 


 

Interested in becoming an Automotive Evaluator with BARE International?

Want to be a guest blogger for BARE’s Automotive community We Are Cars?

Apply to: wearecars@bareinternational.com


cascoProducts are no longer what they once were. Co-branding isn’t the newest hit in town; but nowadays it appears to be all around.

The concept of co-branding hit the roof in the autumn of 2004 when Karl Lagerfeld designed a  one-off collection for H&M and made his exclusive designs available for the crowd. Soon thereafter, many other collaborations followed within the fashion industry such as Stella McCartney for Adidas or Katie Grand for Hogan.

This new way of collaborating across brands entered a whole new level when we started to see trans-market conjunctions. Fashion brands got influenced by other industries such as sports, food and drinks or entertainment.

We saw David Beckham rolling out his underwear with H&M while Karl Lagerfeld jumped into the soda industry with Coca Cola. In the more  premium bubbles industry we saw Swarovski shining together with Möet & Chandon while Pucci mingled with Veuve Cliquot.

In the mobile manufacturing industry, Dolce & Gabbana took a stand with Motorola and Versace for Nokia.

How about the automotive industry? Karl Lagerfeld kicked off a new mainstream collaboration across fashion brands in 2004. But if we take a look back to the 20th century,  already in the 1970s, Gucci partnered up with defunct automaker AMC (American Motors Corporation). Armani designed a CLK limited edition for Mercedes-Benz in 2003. And Porsche partnered up with Adidas creating both a shoes and clothing line for the brand while Ferrari focused on sneakers for PUMA. Martini pimped a Porsche 918 racing car and Fendi composed the GranCabrio for Maserati.

What is the tactical objective behind these collaborations, and what implication do they have for the individual brands? Co-branding indicates the departure of brands from the core single-brand strategy. Maybe not always for a pure commercial gain but rather for the sake of branding, product placement and reputation management. However, always and perpetually driven by one single force: the customers’ hunger for uniqueness.

What to watch out for? Improvident co-branding might generate adverse effects on brand image and brand loyalty. Therefore, co-branders better think strategically, with a win-win situation for both parties in mind and never neglect reputation management. These kind of partnerships better be controlled by limited editioning, clear synchronism between the brands and consistent communication. The targeted customers must understand the brands and the connection. If not, the brand equity might not have the increase expected.

So, when to expect my new boxer shorts by… Lamborghini?


 

Gilles Devos

Guest author: Gilles Devos @gillesdevos 

Gilles is a passionate Epicurean,
with experience in hospitality, sales & marketing.

He likes to devour new trends and explore creative ventures which enables him to live up to his motto: “Don’t follow the trends, create them.”

 

 


We Are Cars is the community for a new generation of customer experience in the automotive industry. We Are Cars keep serving the latest news related to classic- and supercars, bringing awareness to car manufacturers’ transformation to a customer satisfaction and experience industry.

We Are Cars is Powered by BARE International, a global leader in customer experience with solid experience in the Automotive industry. Their customized Automotive services have proven track records of delivering performance, improving results for even the most savvy and demanding industry leaders.

BARE International offer paid missions for Evaluators who want to contribute to better customer experiences. Automotive Programmes include visits at dealerships and test-drive.  The Evaluator checks the service provided and gives feedback to BARE International.

artcar-joseph-klibanski-prowrap-111

Join Joseph Klibansky as he gets ready for The Challenge 2015. Learn about the man behind the artist, how he got to paint on one of the sexiest canvases ever, a Porsche 911, and which car he will turn into pure art as he takes to the wheels himself.

Joseph Klibansky is one of the top young contemporary artists of today. He is about to enter his first “The Challenge – a private rally”. A supercar tour that kicks off on August 31 in Berlin and will take him through 10 different cities and cover thousands of kilometres. Get to know the man behind the artist and how he came to design a Porsche for the Gumball 3000, as we get ready for the live coverage of Klibansky’s Roadtrip.

Klibansky’s own race towards stardom started with a blast. A business graduate, he found his passion for art in the digital sphere when he was 23, and now, at just 31, is widely appreciated by collectors around the world for his dynamic paintings and sculptures. “When I do something I want to do it fast because I feel a strong urge to communicate,” explained Klibansky.

A rebel with a team

Klibansky received a lot of support from the art world which allowed him to re-invest his earnings and grow to a team of 17 people today. “It’s about believing in yourself and reinvesting. You are never self-made, you always need a great team that trust your vision,” said Klibansky.

A rebel at heart and with the sixth gear in place, he didn’t stop to study Fine Art. He knew what he wanted to do and went for it. Klibansky brings positive energy in every piece he makes, “Aesthetics are important. Everything I create has to have an attractive energy that lures the viewer in,” explained Klibansky.

Painting the sexiest canvases on earth

Little did he know that one day, his canvas would be a Porsche. “I got an offer I couldn’t resist, to combine my art with a piece of automotive excellence.

“You might have spotted the Porsche 911 Turbo in the Gumball 3000 Stockholm – Las Vegas. It took me about 1,5 months to finish it but turned out to be one of the most photographed cars in the rally. Can you imagine a more amazing canvas than that?,” Klibansky continued.

Everything is just more exciting when you drive a supercar

His passion for motorised vehicles started as a kid, when at the age of 12 he got his first cross bike. “I’ve always been a petrolhead. When I’m driving I feel free and creative and my mind is at its most productive.

“You wake up like a kid at Christmas. There’s an excitement in the air. You start the engine, the sound, the acceleration. How people perceive you and turn their heads as you come driving through the streets. There’s an attraction. Everything is just more exciting when you drive a supercar,” enthused Klibansky.

This year for The Challenge rally, Joseph Klibansky is ready to take it to the next level, his imagination has no limits and he will design another exclusive new Art-Car. This time using five of his artworks. Which car will get the lucky draw this time around when Klibansky takes to the wheels himself? What would you chose? Check out the Klibansky ArtCar Reveal for yourself.

Follow Klibansky as he gets ready for The Challenge. Exclusive insights brought to you by We Are Cars, Powered by Bare International.

#wearecars #klibansky #klibanskyartcar

 

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For editors

Klibansky
Joseph Klibansky makes large-scale, idealistic digital paintings that are built up through hundreds of layers of photography enriched with acrylic paint on archival cotton paper overlaid with a liquid resin. His work conveys a layering and compression of time, space and place creating new narratives by creating dreamy images of cities, combining past and future.

A Dutch artist at 31 with worldwide fame, he broke a record at the age of 28 when he sold a work for €40000. That’s an international record for such a young artist.
www.josephklibansky.com

We Are Cars and BARE International
We Are Cars is the community for a new generation of customer experience in the automotive industry. We Are Cars keep serving the latest news related to classic- and supercars, bringing awareness to car manufacturers’ transformation to a customer satisfaction and experience industry.

We Are Cars is Powered by BARE International, a global leader in customer experience with solid experience in the Automotive industry. Their customized Automotive services have proven track records of delivering performance, improving results for even the most savvy and demanding industry leaders.
www.bareinternational.com

The Challenge 2015
The Rally kicks off in Berlin 31 August and ends in Athens. The supercars will really through 10 different cities and more than 4000 kilometres. The participants and their supercars won’t know until the day of departure where they should be heading to next. Each day a different city.
The Challenge 2015 on Facebook

 

shutterstock_120937963

I was recently reading a blog post on LinkedIn by Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of the Renault-Nissan Alliance on the way that electric vehicles are now becoming mainstream. While the main focus was on the technical achievement and the sales, there were two things that particularly drew my attention.

The first was that customer satisfaction for owners of the electric vehicles is among the highest of all their vehicles. This is noteworthy because the industry has always had a concern that electric vehicles would not meet customer’s expectations, and consequently leave the customer dissatisfied. I believe that Nissan have consistently been honest and forthcoming about their electric cars, truthfully stating the expected range, and working hard to improve the infrastructure. As a consequence, they have been able to meet the realistic expectations the customer has developed.

That being said, the government incentives and the efforts of municipal governments to put charging stations in place haven’t hurt, but kudos to the manufacturer for believing that would happen in parallel with their sales drive.

Secondly, was the fact that the blog post focussed on one individual customer, Yves Nivelle, who had bought the 250000th vehicle, and made the story about him. In fact, not only the story, but also an accompanying video. A company who isn’t afraid to talk about their customers and even talk to their customers in public is a company that is serious about their commitment to customer satisfaction.

It looks to me that Nissan understand the relationship between customer service and customer satisfaction and are committed to ensure that both grow together.


collin

Guest author: Colin Hensley @colingoeu

Colin has wide experience in managing and building brand and organisational reputations including more than 15 years in the automotive industry. He has had responsibility for communications and public affairs spanning public and private institutions across three continents.