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
© Photo by Mockup Graphics / Unsplash

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PRODUCT STRATEGY
PRODUCT PORTFOLIO
PRICING POWER

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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