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Outrageous Marketing Lessons from Audi

Allow me to flog my favorite automotive fetish for a little while… one that hails all the way from the days my father got a Horch (before Audi was Audi) for their wedding… 😉

Classic-Gala Schwetzingen 2009 - Horch
Creative Commons License photo credit: jorbasa

Audi used to be the ‘third German luxury car you can’t quite remember’… the also-ran, the ‘yes it’s quite good maybe even superior but why would you get it over a BMW or Mercedes’?

With BMW being the sporty one and Mercedes the traditional ‘old money’ luxury car…

Audi was the classy one you’d get if you didn’t want to show off, or otherwise show your comfort for reason.

CONSERVATIVE… was the operative word. And proud of it, evidently.

Heck, they used to be so invisible even their global slogan was in German! -Vorsprung durch technik (I suppose it still is but less used)

But all that changed a few short years ago.

Audi decided they didn’t want to play the third fiddle anymore.

=> Goodbye non-inspiring design, goodbye invisible looks, goodbye lukewarm sales…

To compete with BMW and other sporty offerings, they added a more intimidating look: (grille and headlights)

Audi R8
Creative Commons License photo credit: Michi1308

To compete with Mercedes, they added a long-delayed SUV line and a coupé model.

Audi Q7 new version
Creative Commons License photo credit: vm2827

To get the attention of sports cars fans, they finally introduced their supercar: the R8.

IAA 2007, Audi R8
Creative Commons License photo credit: zacke82

And look at Audi now! Behold the result…

  • They’re routinely beating BMW in head-to-head reviews…
  • The A6 is now the most popular business car all over the European home turf…
  • They’re about to overtake Mercedes in global sales…

AND they’re one of the frontrunners with electric cars too, with their Tesla competitor R4 just announced…

Audi R8 electric car concept
Audi R8 electric car concept

Think all that is just coincidence?

They just started to build SO MUCH BETTER cars all of a sudden?

I don’t think so… because listen up:

It PAYS to be visible.

It PAYS to go all out with your best stuff out there.

It PAYS to be just a little outrageous when it matters.

Keep that in mind the next time you think about your ‘corporate image’ or ‘personal brand’ or what have you.

Yes, be yourself, but be your BEST self… hang it all out there!

And this concludes today’s “with both funs blazing” marketing lesson.

See you next time! 🙂

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