Reinventing the wheel – A brilliant brand strategy

brand agency Melbourne

The new product innovation set to disrupt the passenger tire category.

We much more often hear from clients; “We’re not reinventing the wheel here”. We hear it so often it’s almost become a default starting point for approaching branding projects; ‘How do we get growth without significantly changing anything?’

The question of where this mindset comes from is for another time – but I believe it is predominantly driven by a risk averse, budget saving mentality. As an industry we’ve come to accept that we must find ways to drive business growth with minimal risk, even though we know the maxim; No Risk / No Reward is far more often true than not.

As a reminder of just how much benefit there is for brands who break the paradigms of their category, Michelin have released a prototype for a new, airless tire. In a category that’s only seen incremental innovation over the last thirty years, here’s a brand literally reinventing the wheel with a new product that has all the hallmarks of a game changer.

The Michelin ‘Uptis’ is an airless wheel designed for passenger vehicles. The new wheel is being developed in collaboration with GM with the powerful consumer value proposition of eliminating the dangers of flat tires and blowouts and at the same time eliminating the need for pressure checks and damage inspections.As cars have become more reliable, changing a tire by the side of a dark road in the cold of winter is perhaps the last remaining significant driver pain point. And whilst heading down to the servo to check tire pressure is more a hassle than a pain point, the tire brand that can solve both of these will have a significant market advantage. Add to that the environmental benefits of eliminating the 20% of tires that turn into landfill every year and you have a value proposition connecting with the growing purpose economy and the millennial market.

With plans to launch Uptis to market by 2024, Michelin have the potential to significantly separate themselves from their competitors in the passenger vehicle tire category – no mean feat in such a mature market. This bold brand strategy is a reminder that sometimes – with the right mindset – challenger brand behavior can come from a market leader.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a Melbourne branding agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Pics Courtesy Michelin

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