Weltmeister Automobile, the Chinese electric vehicle brand, believes a brand is more than just a brand and has developed the notion of the ‘brand as platform’ – even though this can at times seem to conflict with brand-building principles.

The concept relates to a user-centric ecosystem that delivers a holistic and dynamic experience , Steve Xue, chief strategy officer of FCB Greater China, explained at a recent Singapore conference.

He noted how the industry has shifted from selling products to curating experiences, but highlighted the difference between eye-catching novelty experiences that make the rounds on social media before fizzling out and experiences that are here for the long haul.

“Consumers easily get bored. There is always something new coming up,” he said of the former.

Weltmeister, however, promises something both new and long-lasting: earlier this year it released the Living Pilot automatic driving system “to free up driving” with HMI (Human-Machine-Interface) interaction and enhance the driving experience.

Users, for instance, can use voice commands instead of having to look up navigation information with mobile GPS. The vehicle also doubles up as an entertainment system with a “theatre mode” for watching movies.

Then there’s Weltmeister’s cloud-based Super ID accounts – unique to each customer – that allow the company to access user behaviour, different user scenario cases, and preferences and that enable car owners to interact with their car in various ways, including using facial recognition to access their car, or having the driver’s window display messages and essential vehicle information.

“We focus on people as the core, and so we use the car as the carrier, that enables them to enjoy restaurants and recreational events,” Xue explained of the Weltmeister ecosystem. (For more details, read WARC’s report: How Weltmeister Automobile navigated three brand-building dilemmas in China.)

“The cloud records all your data. When you explore a destination with your Super ID, you can easily lease your car from locations like Hainan province – all your driving behaviour will be automatically downloaded when you log into this new vehicle.”

Offering a multi-sensory experience also aids in building the brand-customer relationship. For Weltmeister, this goes right down to having a signature brand scent that evokes environmentally-friendly vibes.

“When we are talking about the brand as platform, we are talking about the user-centric ecosystem for a holistic, coherent and dynamic experience. One that keeps evolving and enriching the consumer experience,” said Xue.

Sourced from WARC