5 ways the world’s fastest car can fuel your brand thinking
Post by Jon Goldstone, Managing Partner based in London.
I must admit I’d never hear of Rimac until I recently read about their new 55/45 joint venture with Porsche: ‘Bugatti Rimac’. I was especially interested as Rimac is a Croatian company. I had the pleasure of spending part of my early career working for Coca-Cola in Croatia, with some of the smartest and most driven people I’ve ever met.
The Rimac story is amazing. At the age of 19 Mate Rimac combined parts from a forklift truck with an elderly BMW saloon to create an early prototype of the electric technology he was developing christened ‘The Green Monster’. In 2011, still only 23, he unveiled The Concept One which had a top speed of 220 mph. Its successor, the Rimac Nevera is able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 1.85 seconds and has a top-speed of 258 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world.
He’s now a 33 year-old billionaire, being feted by the biggest players in the global automobile industry. On completion of the joint venture, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume stated, “The Croatians are fast movers in terms of battery and software development, low-volume high-end products, prototyping, and forward thinking as far as the zero emission picture is concerned”.
For all of his technical brilliance Mate Rimac has also proven to be an outstanding brand-builder. Here are five lessons that I think all brand marketers can use to fuel their own brand innovation thinking.
1. Prototype early
Without his early ‘Green Monster’, the BMW with forklift truck parts, Mate Rimac would never have got his company off the ground. He had to start somewhere and have tangible evidence of his thinking. Entrepreneurs are great at this, big company marketers often spend too long conceptualising and are too fearful of making real-life prototypes early in the innovation process.
2. Obsess about the product
Too many new brands are ‘all sizzle and no sausage’ but that’s not the case for Rimac Automobili. The product is absolutely sensational. Have a look at this video to see how the Rimac Nevera performs against the Ferrari SF90.
3. Break category expectations
I’ve recently read The Choice Factory by Richard Shotten and loved the ‘expectancy theory’ chapter. In one example, people are willing to pay twice as much for a brownie placed on a china plate versus the same brownie presented on a paper plate. Electric cars are much the same. If you present the car as an environmentally friendly option there is an expectation of diluted performance. If you present the car single-mindedly as a performance-buster you set completely different expectations.
4. Pull the price lever. Hard
Of the classic 4Ps price is the one lever that marketers seem to be least confident in leveraging. More often than not new innovations are too respectful of the established pricing norms of the category. Not the Rimac Nevera. Here’s a brand which is confident in itself and it has used price to demonstrate its superiority. It’s yours for a measly €2,000,000!
5. Don’t be afraid of constraints
As Mate Rimac said when being interviewed by the BBC, “Because we didn’t have investors on board we had to make revenue from day one”. The answer was to supply technology and expertise to other manufacturers, to create the funds that could be re-invested in their own business. Along the way, they discovered they were more investable as a result. “People don’t want to invest in a boutique supercar company, they want to invest in a scaleable business,” Matt Rimac went on to say.
The next time that you’re innovating, think about how you can use Rimac Automobili to stimulate your thinking. And if you’ve never been, please do take a trip to Croatia, it’s a beautiful country and you might even find a way to take a Rimac Nevera for a spin!