Even if you are bored by cars this is a great question marketing people ask to find out how a brand is perceived by stakeholders. Car manufacturers have always been brilliant at establishing strong brand values and perceived product attributes. Check out the movie Crazy People with the famous line “Volvo – they’re boxy but they’re good”. Also the amazing Toyota HiLux Bugger commerical.
The car question is even more relevant right now because the world is paddling for the biggest wave of change in transport since the Model T. Electrification and AI are about to radically change cars and our relationship with them. Technologies like vehicle to grid are going to upend utilities companies and our relationship to them. In the same way that PCs pushed computing from mainframes to desktops. Back then we watched the IBM elephant dance, what we now call pivot, to PCs and services. That turmoil created untold opportunities for smart entrepreneurs. Distributed energy and AI are doing the same right now. What a car means to people is about to be very different . International car reviews are now mostly about electric cars, or mourning the last of a famous powered model. Tesla is widely agreed to be 7 years ahead of the pack, with a valuation to match. It is fascinating to watch this stuff, check out this amazing video of fun on a weekend.
So, back to your business:
With all the change going on, in so many areas of our lives, try to use the car company analogy to help you have and to hold clear, and easily articulated, brand values and attributes. Make sure that someone thinking about what you do can put you in a box. The test for that is having them explain it to someone else. To do that ask them what sort of car you are. Ask as many people as you can. The results will give some of the best insight you will ever get.
We like to think our company, Middle Office, is like a Rivian electric 4WD. We are strong and flexible, reliable and nimble, we embrace the best new technology, love the outdoors and have a social conscience. We are the new, clean and simpler way to help you get the job done.
Thomas is a CPA qualified accountant, business advisor and on-demand CFO with over 20 years of experience running businesses. He has worked in senior finance roles with some of Australia’s biggest companies and best business leaders.
Thomas been an independent CFO for 20 years, working with B2B businesses from start-up to 30M turnover. Twenty years ago not many people knew what an Outsourced CFO was but they are becoming more widespread these days. Which Thomas thinks is a great thing.