Venables Bell & Partners gave us two weeks to figure out how Audi can sell cars now with an eye on the "future of mobility."

 
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A MINUTE TO SKIM IT

 
 

Situation

The future of mobility is being shaped by many competing forces. Traditional auto makers are teaming up with tech giants in a race to create the world of tomorrow.

Challenge

Audi has always had tech at its core, but we are quickly approaching a future where advanced tech is table stakes. How can Audi sell cars today while also keeping the future in sight?

Key Learning

"The Future" has a negative, dark view, but "Your Future" has a bright, positive outlook.

Insight

The future is our personal story. While we're being fed a future of advanced technology -- we're actually planning for things like starting a family and pursuing our passions.

Strategic Approach

Focus on the future's most important component: people. 

Target

Wealthy Gen X'ers who enjoy a comfortable life. Their car is a projection of their personality.

 
 

 

A CLOSER LOOK

 

 
 

COmpetitive Landscape

The future of mobility is being shaped by many competing forces. We’re being told that the future will be defined by mega trends, innovative technology, and new business models.

Despite the variety of brands, they're all preaching the same sermon.

Traditional automakers like Ford, GM, and Toyota are all touting themselves as mobility companies. They're partnering with ride sharing companies like Lyft and Uber, chip makers like NVIDIA, and buying up start ups like Maven and Car2GO. Meanwhile Apple, Google, and Tesla are hot on their tails in the race to get fleets of self driving cars on the road. We dubbed the new car industry the "Auto+ Industry," because it is so much more than car makers now.

OUr Brand

 
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Audi has always believed in being Fearlessly Forward.

The brand has new autonomous and electric technologies in the works, but still needs to move the bottom line.

 

Tension

 
 

Audi has always had tech at its core, but we are quickly approaching a future where every brand will be built around tech.

 
 

 
 

Research Methods

  • Interviewed Audi dealership salesmen and managers.
  • Conducted brand and competitive audit. 
  • Talked with Audi owners about their vehicles and why they chose them.
  • Devised an experiment to see how people talked about the future.

Interview findings 

  • Audi Salesmen sell people on the drive: the combination of high style and connection to the road. You can feel it.
  • To Audi owners, their car isn't as "stodgy" as Mercedes-Benz, and isn't completely focused on performance like BMW. It's a projection of their own personality.
 
 

An experiment

 

Humanity has always wondered what the future might look like. We see interpretations of the future in books, movies, and TV shows. We had a hunch that people might see the future differently from the Auto+ industry.

 

We asked:

1. How do you imagine “The Future?”

 

2. How do you imagine “Your Future?”

 

"The Future" generally had a negative view.
It is seen as high-tech, connected, and efficient. People mentioned that new technology may make some current jobs obsolete and that humans will continue to ruin the planet.
 
But “Your Future” was talked about with hope and excitement.
People talked about wanting to get married and start a family. They imagined successful careers doing what they love, and hoped to travel to new places and experience new things.

 
 

INSIGHT

 

The future is our personal story.

 
 

While we're being fed a future of advanced technology, self-driving cars, and connected cities -- we're actually planning for things like college graduation, starting a family, and pursuing our passions.

 
 

 
 

STRATEGic Approach

 

Focus on the future’s most important component: people.

 
 

 
 

TArget

 

Wealthy Gen X'ers who enjoy a comfortable life. They love to be the first to try out new technology. Their car is a projection of their own personality. To them, Audi is the perfect blend of bold design and high end performance.

 

 
 

Creative Platform

For Your Future

"For Your Future" means no matter how the world around us changes, Audi puts people first. 

 

Thought Starters

  • How can we illustrate that people’s decisions shape the future? The twists and turns of a road are a good analogy for the decisions we make and how we have the power to decide our destination. 
  • People always picture the future in different ways. What if the high-tech city of the future wasn’t as great as it originally seemed? If the world became so advanced that we lost the freedom to choose, how could Audi step in and give people the ability to decide for themselves?
  • Humans may not always be the drivers, but we will always be the decision makers. How can we make a statement about Audi to rally more “Audi people?”
 
 

 
 

MY favorite part of this project

...was the moment we realized how pivotal our experiment was. It not only paved the road forward (pun intended) to our strategy, but was a mic drop moment during the pitch to Michael Davidson & Venables.

 

Human Centered Future Design powered by: Melissa Jackson - Strategist // Eddie Bennett - Strategist // Nick Carr - Strategist