SYDNEY: A fantastic brand experience is key to building brand awareness in Australia’s crowded automotive category, according to a senior marketer at Renault.

According to Terri Golder, Head of Marketing Communications for the French car brand in Australia, the company’s biggest challenge in growing its business is perhaps an unexpected one: name recognition.

"Brand familiarity for Renault is our absolute number one challenge. Everyone has heard of the brand, but we sit in focus group after focus group and ask, 'What do you know about the Renault brand?' she said at the Mumbrella Automotive Marketing Summit.

"Most people can say it's French. Some guys will know about our motorsport involvement, but otherwise, it's just a sea of blank faces," she said. (For more, subscribers can read: How brand experience is boosting Renault and Bentley in Australia.)

"There are 68 car brands in the (Australian) market, so we have to find a different way to connect with our audience, and we've found brand experience to be a really good way to do that," Golder said.

"It's a good way for them to familiarise themselves with the brand. We can tell them brand stories. We can show them the product, we can get bums on seats, and that is an effective way to move people through the funnel much more quickly," she said.

Focusing on a superior brand experience, in particular in tie-up with the Australian Grand Prix race – where Renault has a formidable on-track presence – has been key to boosting the brand in Australia, especially on a smaller budget. 

"Formula One brings huge credibility to the brand in terms of engineering excellence as well as the brand halo,” Golder said.

The company has leveraged experiential activations at the event including virtual reality pit-shop challenges, VIP events and luxury on-site hosting.

“It's something we really need to leverage to give the brand more credibility and get on the radar of more mainstream consumers. We invest a lot of energy, focus and money into leveraging Grand Prix."

Sourced from WARC