Brand Lessons from PEUGEOT!

As an ardent enthusiast of automobiles (especially European brands), I have discovered a number of branding strategies in the motoring world. But in this piece, my focus is on Peugeot- the French automaker.
Peugeot vehicles were made popular in Nigeria by Government agencies (the military in particular) from the early 80s to the late 2000s. And the 504, 505, 306 and 406 are the most popular models to grace the Nigerian roads.
When it comes to European cars; the Italians own speed and style, the English cherish luxury and the Germans are known for endurance and ruggedness. Very little is known about the French automobiles, like- Peugeot, Renault, Citreon, Simca, Fiat, Venturi, and the likes.
Love numbers: Peugeot adopted a unique style of nomenclature- NUMBERS! With the exception of the Boxer, Partner, RCZ, J5 (many young people won’t know the ‘J5’) and a few others, Peugeot is a ‘numbers’ company. And recently, they’ve gone from the popular 3-digit nomenclature (404, 504, 607, 508) to a 4-digit nomenclature (2008, 5008). Numbers help us count, measure, record, and perceive things accurately.
Start, Correct, Complete and Move on: this is the biggest lesson I have learnt from Peugeot. DO NOT LINGER! The Toyota corolla is the most popular car in the world, and it’s been in production since 1966- 47 years! On the flip side, the newer Peugeot models don’t have up to a 10-year production span. The production of the 406 started in 1996; it was re-modeled in 2000 and stopped in 2004. That same year it was replaced with the 407. The 407 was stopped in 2010 and replaced with the 408. Correct your mistakes complete your task and move on…
Aesthetics: the French are known for romance and beauty, and Peugeot fully assimilated this into their style of production. Apart from being one of the most successful cars in Europe, the 406 is also one of the best styled cars in the world. I saw the 508 recently and I was wow-ed. No one resists the charm of a beautiful automobile.
‘Wow’ your customers: when the 306 was introduced into the Nigerian market (1996 or 1997), the catch was ‘the awesome fuel consumption’. In the ad, we were told one could fill the car ONCE and drive from Lagos to Kaduna! Beneath that beautiful body is an efficient car that is built to last… that’s what people want to hear.

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