Aston Martin Brand Audit and SWOT Analysis

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Introduction

Founded by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1914, Aston Martin Limited is a manufacturing company specializing in luxury and sport cars and great touring cars. The company initially dealt with luxury and sports cars until the late 1950s, when the major touring cars were engaged. (Dowsey, 2007). The organization also has a financial history of mixed results, such as facing bankruptcy in the 1970s. It has also enjoyed long periods of prosperity and stability, such as the Ford Motor Company’s ownership and the present ownership. (Dowsey, 2013). Moreover, the company holds various elements, which constitute its success factor in the highly competitive automobile industry. Such strengths define the resilience of the grand logo of the company, despite the weathering challenges in the markets.

Company Details

Ownership

The founders of the corporation were Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford, both of United Kingdom. However, over the years, it changed ownership with various parties buying shares in the company including the Ford brand among others. Today, the leading individual shareholders and owners are David Richards and Baimler AG (Dowsey, 2010). The other shareholders are companies with shares in Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Brand Audit and SWOT Analysis

History

Aston Martin is a company whose existence now spans 100 years of operation. The company was established in 1914 and has been operating since its institution (Dowsey, 2010). Further, this forms a heritage factor for the company, which makes it a preferable choice for many of its consumers.

Products and Services Category

Aston Martin is an automobile company whose operations focus solely on the manufacturing of vehicles and wares of vehicles. The company products feature in the motorsport industry, as well as, the personal car industry. The company also factors the production of cars for luxury purposes, a leading service that it facilitates to its consumers (Dowsey, 2013). The operational elements of its products and services entail the highly competitive automobile industry, where the company products feature as leading operator and identifiable market share leader.

Scope

The company Aston Martin has its base in the UK market. The head office operations are in the UK. However, it also features its operations in other sections such as America and Asia. The notable market leader in the UK has its products across the globe; hence, its scope is global (Dowsey, 2013). The company utilizes its networking ability to venture into markets across the continent accordingly, incorporating its strategic marketing features and management skills to establish its presence in the various markets where it covers.

Distribution

The company distributes its products accordingly through its main operating bases as well as through use of retailers. The company facilitates its products to the retailers who further do the marketing and sale the products. Additionally, the company also establishes offices in the various markets where it establishes distribution points for the products. These are significant to the brand sales as it captures vast markets for the success of the company.

Competitors

The core competitors of the company include the Mercedes and Volkswagen in the Europe. Additionally, other foreign brands from Asia and America such as the Nissan brand, Lotus among others. These competitors constitute the market competitors that continue to influence the operations of the company accordingly.

Brand Values

Aston Martin is keen to institute leading values in its operating strategies for the success of the company. The company believes in providing its consumers with luxury and performance, thus, these constitutes the belief of the company. Its core values base on this belief, as the company holds aspects of honesty and integrity to high level. The company does not compromise on quality with respect to the products it facilitates the consumers. Thus, with such values, the company continues to remain effectively competitive and successful.

Brand Inventory

Brand Name

Aston Martin is a brand name, which remains on the lips of many automobile consumers. The name is easily memorable with virtually all consumers in the market having awareness about the name. The company factors this brand name in establishing its presence in the markets as it is essentially a household name in the industry. The name coiled from the co-founders of the company continues to remain due to its ease to remember and associated prestige.

Brand Logo

The brand logo is another element whose presence in the industry is an identifying factor. Notably, to date, the brand log associates with social status of the consumer; hence, the company enjoys a remarkably strong brand (Schlegelmilch & Lehbrink, 2007). Moreover, the company facets of the logo also incorporate protection of the company image, as well as, the meaning of its existence in the industry. Thus, observing from these elements of the company, the brand logo is a success element for the company.

Packaging

The company deals in automobiles and its wares. Therefore, it is keen in ensuring that the packaging has its logo for identification purposes, as well as, marketing. The company packaging also entails consideration of factors such as associations and awareness to facilitate its success. These considerations in packaging facilitate the company in achieving its purpose with the products it presents to the consumers.

Marketing Programs

The company realizes the essence of establishing contact to the various components, including partners, investors, consumers and suppliers. Thus, the company takes its marketing programs seriously, instituting various platforms and channels for communicating to each of these elemental components. Notably, the company has a strong public relations team that manages the communication processes within the various offices where it operates (Schlegelmilch & Lehbrink, 2000). Secondly, the company also institutes several marketing platforms and consumer engaging channels. These include the use of the online base, which entails its website. The company owns a website, which it uses to converse all the events and developments constituting news about the company brand. Moreover, it also uses media advertisements including television commercials and print media such as magazines to communicate to the consumers (Schlegelmilch & Lehbrink, 2002). The company has its magazine that it publishes to communicate accordingly. Thus, the company is keen in establishing useful communication channels and platforms to engage the consumers, as well as, other related parties.

Changes Over Time

The company in history has seen several changes in its operations and brand development. Notably, the company continues to grow into a leading operator in the industry, majoring in luxury and sports. Additionally, since its inception by Lionel Martin and Robert Bamford in 1914, the company has seen several changeovers on ownership, including the recent one of 2007 (Aston Martin, 2000). These changes in the company continue to institute further progress, as the company brand continues to grow remarkably dispute facing stiff competition. The changes also affect the social-cultural environment in which it is operating, such including the change in society and the institution of social classes which impact the factors of spending power. Thus, the company continues to capitalize on these changes in its management and the environment of operation to propel its success.

Brand Mantra

Aston Martin continues to hold the position of being UK’s coolest brand of car in the market. The company has held the title for the past five success five years, a factor that indicates its essence in the mantra it holds. The brand mantra is “cool, sexy and sophisticated” words that capture the entire form of the company products. The cars the company produces hold a vast level of competency with respect to the class at which the company operates. Thus, from these observations, the mantra of the company holds true to the objectives of the company and its presence in the market.

Brand Positioning

The company has its base operation in Britain, with it being the leading market controller in the region. The company is also continuing to explore its options in different world markets including the Americas and Asia (Aston Martin, 2003). These factors constitute the positioning of the company, as it is strategic in identifying and exploring the viable markets where it can sell its brand. The company is competitive as it continues to post success in its operations accordingly, despite the challenges in the industry. Thus, positing ability of the company propels it towards its success.

Brand Exploratory

Consumer Awareness

The notable elements of the company entail its consumer relations with respect to the various markets it explores. The company continues to achieve a worldwide recognition, giving it notable platform in the market. The core aspects of consumer association that Aston Martin employs include its brand recognition aspects (Aston Martin, 2008). The company holds several values that factor it as a leading company that the consumers aspire to associate with and possibly own a share. The consumers feel essentially and notably free to display openly their liking for the company, giving it remarkable awareness with respect to the highly competitive industry. The consumers are happy associating themselves with the brand and its owners, a factor that displays and conveys the distinctive qualities that the brand holds (Aston Martin, 2010). Notably, the consumers describe the brand with mutual identity. The company holds a vast recognition across the globe operating in the multinational platform to facilitate its products. Aston Martin has recognition in all the continents of the world, within the leading markets such as the developed and developing countries (Rubenstein, 2010). The consumers in all these areas of the world describe the company as a leading and preferable choice of products that each aspires to acquire. Thus, such statistics indicate the extensive consumer awareness that the company enjoys in the highly competitive automotive industry.

Brand Associations

A brand entails an identity that reflects the various qualities and values as the company holds. The company uses its brand to establish the key associations as required to prosper in the market. Notably the brand presents itself as really fine a factor, which earns it remarkable reputation in establishing relations. The company has several associates, both in the automotive industry, and from other industries. The leading association is with its customers, whom it seeks to keep happy and satisfied with its facilities elements (Slater, 2014). The company Aston Martin associates with leading companies such as the Lotus and Ford, establishing relations to counter the highly competitive industry. The company portrays an attractiveness that conveys desirable promise to the various dominant associates in the industry. Thus, through these establishments, Aston Martin continues to remain successful in its relations.

Competitive Positioning

Describing the products of Aston Martin incorporated the definition as sophisticated, British built, high quality and hand finished. Honestly, there is no male or female, old or young person that would not aspire to own the brand product (Dowsey, 2013). This definition serves to indicate the competitive position of the company and its products. In Britain for instance, the company continues to rank at the top of the chart in sales and aspects of its quality service, indicating the competitive advantage the company holds in the region. The company has stiff competition in the Asian markets from the locally operating companies such as Toyota and Nissan among others (Dowsey, 2013). In the European market, the company faces competition from companies such as the Mercedes and Volkswagen of Germany among others. In the America, the leading competitors include Ford among others (Aston Martin, 2013). These competitors continue to propel the company to establish itself on the ground, instituting essential strategies required to guide its operations. The company pursues its operational elements towards the success of its objectives. Thus, competitively speaking, Aston Martin holds a top position in the majority of the markets it conducts business, indicating the strong competitive advantage it enjoys.

Aston Martin SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Aston Martin as a leading operator in the industry has notable elements that make it a leading company in its areas of operation. The company has several strengths on which it continues to invest accordingly to ensure that it achieves the success level it envisions. In this highly competitive industry, the core strengths of the company include a strong and qualified workforce. (Presland, 2009). Workforce is key in the automotive manufacturing industry as factors of innovation and accuracy in producing quality products is significant to the success the company achieves (Presland, 2009). Thus, Aston Martin established its footprint in success by instituting highly competitive and skilled workforce, which facilitates the process of information and production, leading to quality products that earn the trust of the customers in the markets. The second strength that Aston Martin holds over most of its competitors is that it has an existing distribution and sales network (Presland, 2009). The industry requires that a company make sales for it to be successful. Therefore, when a company produces quality work but fails to meet the aspects of marketing required, then it fails to succeed. However, Aston Martin established its strength in the market by instituting key partnerships and essential channels for networking; hence, it continues to use this aspect of networking in the various markets to remain successful (Presland, 2009). Lastly, the company has the strength in that it has high profitability and revenue in returns (Presland, 2009). The core cause for being in operation is to earn profit. Therefore, Aston Martin factored this element in its early years and established itself as a luxury operating company. These factors instituted the company growth to a multinational operating level; hence, earning vast and huge amounts of profits and revenues. Consequently, the company uses its strength in profitability and revenues to further project its operations and success in the industry.

Weaknesses

The company also faces remarkable challenges in its operations a factor that constitutes its weaknesses. The leading weakness entails that the brand established itself as a luxury product in the market. This factor means that it does not target the average person in the market. The products focus on those with the spending power to afford luxury products (Rae, 2012). Thus, the percentage of the customers in the market that would acquire the commodity is low. The company misses on the high composition of the market, which constitutes of the average and low income persons in the various locations. This factor makes it a weakness point as competitors can capitalize on the same to capture the vast market constituting of the average earners in the markets (Rae, 2012).

Opportunities

The company operates in an industry determined by several elements in the world economic progress. Nonetheless, irrespective of these factors, Aston Martin has several opportunities from which it can base its operations, acquiring the platform to increase its competitive advantage (Presland, 2009). Notably, the income levels within the various markets remain constant. Therefore, much as the company is successful in its current strategies, it should factor the markets constituting of the average income earners, which would earn it a larger market share (Presland, 2009). Secondly, the company, much as it has base in virtually all the continents, it does not explore the vast global markets accordingly. The company currently concentrates on the European and American markets, extensively neglecting the Asian and African markets among others (Presland, 2009). This composition of the global markets presents the chance for the company to expand its operations, giving it remarkable growth and competitive advantage. The company also has opportunity to capitalize on its growth rate and profitability. Notably, the company continues to register increasing growth rate and increased profits. This factor means that it has more resources to invest in the various available markets and opportunities. Therefore, the company should capitalize on the availability of resources to institute its growth, solidifying itself at the leading position in the industry (Presland, 2009). Further, the company also has opportunity to diversify and incorporate new acquisitions such as merger companies among other opportunities. These factors will facilitate further growth of the company; hence, meeting its objectives in the industry.

Threats

The threats in the industry facing the company include the changing government regulations (Raby, 2013). The governments continue to institute regulations regarding acquiring of resources in the industry, to the levels of safety and environmental considerations, which impairs the plans of the operating, companies (Raby, 2013). Thus, Aston Martin needs to remain aware of the developments in government regulations to avoid aspects of court cases from emerging regulations. Secondly, the company faces the threat of the financial capacity (Raby, 2013). Although the company is receiving increasing rates of growth and profitability, it is notable that the havoc in the financial markets is unpredictable disaster that can impair its operations. The company needs to remain aware of the growths in the monetary markets across the world to plan for such developments, as happened during the great depression in the recent years. Lastly, the company faces the threat of increasing labor costs (Raby, 2007). The company has a vast labor force of skilled workers. This element means that as the labor costs increase, the costs of maintaining its workforce also increases. These developments can impair the operations of the company; hence, the need to prepare and alleviate such developments and evade them accordingly.

Implications

The automobile industry is vast and the growing trends in the world markets, including the financial crisis can remarkably affect the operations of big companies such as Aston Martin, grounding them accordingly (Pritchard, 2006). Therefore, in view of the current developments the company has several aspects that it needs to consider to remain in the leading pact in the industry. The company already holds a leading competitive advantage. Moreover, it continues to grow accordingly towards achieving its objective of leading the world markets. However, the various threats constitute elements that would remarkably impair the operations of the company (Pritchard, 2006). Further, its opportunities and strength also constitute the various procedures that the company can incorporate to maintain its position the market. Therefore, these elements constitute the factors that will result in various implications to the success of the company. The company, when it capitalizes on the opportunities, the implication is that it will have a positive outcome (Pritchard, 2010). However, when the threats impair the operations of the company, then the company may face significant challenges, which will ground its operations.

Recommendations

The company remains a leading producer of the top-class sport cars in addition to other luxury models. However, the developments in the market indicate that various competitors are diversifying their operations. However, Aston Martin shows no signs of adopting such measures. Therefore, in recommendation to the elements of operation of the company, it is essential to invest in the opportunities the company has, to grow accordingly; diversifying its operations to incorporate the average earners in the market will propel the company success (Pitt, 2006). Additionally, the company can incorporate acquisition of other ventures and resources to stem its progress. Thus, the company should incorporate its opportunities, capitalizing on each accordingly, as well as, institute means to counter the threats that it may counter in the future.

Conclusion

Aston Martin in its history saw several changes, including the last change of ownership in 2007 (Aston Martin, 2013). However, irrespective of these elements, the brand continues to institute its success as a force that competitors cannot reckon. Notably, the company has a strong brand image, which factors its associations and partnerships, in addition to its target market. Therefore, these elements of operation define the position the company holds in the highly competitive automobile industry. Further, the company foresees future success in the various markets as it envisions to venture. Thus, observing from these aspects, the company has potential to grow further.

References
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