Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates one product from other products.
Tyres are high-cost, low-interest products that are only bought as a necessity, so tyre brands have to find ways of communicating their quality and heritage without focusing on the buying process.
When it comes to generating excitement in the auto world, the peak of prestige is to be recognized as a supplier to Formula 1 racing. Since 2007, there has been only one tyre supplier each season. The current incumbent (as of 2019) is Pirelli, by far the smallest of the five premium tyre brands, which also include Continental, Bridgestone, Michelin and Goodyear.
F1 is arguably the most effective platform in terms of visibility in the tyre market. It is particularly good at creating interest and awareness because tyres are responsible for delivering most of the unpredictability and excitement in the sport.
A lot of tyre manufacturers have been turned off F1 by the inherent cost, however. In fact, Continental shuns motorsport almost entirely arguing that, race tyres might not bear any relationship to the tyre that is used on the road. Separate production lines and separate engineers have to be used, so you’ve got to spend a lot of money before you even get to the race track.
But Continental, like Pirelli, is still looking to push forward premium perceptions of its brand through activities outside the business of selling tyres for road cars. Its strategy has been to sponsor high-profile football tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships and UEFA Champions’ League.
Whatever ground they choose, premium tyre brands clearly feel the need to mark out their own territory away from road tyres. The average motorist only buys tyres every two or three years, so it pays to build long-term brand awareness rather than creating a spike.
Tyretec carries a variety of tyre brands in Kenya including; Bridgestone, Goodyear, Pirelli, Continental and Michelin.