By Wolfgang Philipp

Published in February 2024

1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy

Same, Same, But Different:
OEM Product Portfolios

Same, Same, But Different: OEM Product Portfolios
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How come most OEMs have very similar products? Almost every car model has at least one counterpart from another brand. Some OEM portfolios are even symmetrical across all segments.

Multi-brand OEMs, in particular, create base models and slightly modify them for several brands. What sounds lucrative actually decreases a brand’s pricing power and profitability in the long run.

Similar products squander the uniqueness of their brands. Instead of differentiating a brand, they make it comparable.

Direct comparability reduces a potentially distinctive brand experience to subtle details.

A unique brand experience requires unique products. Models such as the 911, the Range Rover, the Wrangler, and the G-Wagon elude comparability. Their pricing power and resale value are significantly higher than their not-so-similar alternatives.

Particularly in the electric era with standardized technology, brand experience becomes the key differentiator and value driver.

Similar products squander the uniqueness of their brands. Instead of differentiating a brand, they make it comparable.

How can brands create unique products and upgrade their experience?

It all starts with a strong brand positioning based on meaning. When a brand’s meaning is clear, the product’s requirements become obvious; the product brings this meaning into existence.

Thank you for reading 1-Minute Automotive Product Strategy!

If you want to learn more on this topic, read our article Car Brand Positioning in a New Era of Mobility.

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