Last month, 25 MSc Strategic Marketing students made their way Euston to board the early morning train to Crewe, home of the luxury brand, Bentley. Being given the opportunity to visit the factory and meet the marketing manager, the enthusiasm was real.
Upon our arrival at the showroom, we were welcomed by the sales team and divided into 3 groups; and off we went into the world of Bentley.
I was mesmerised by their overall manufacturing processes. Bentley is known as a luxury car brand worldwide, but going behind the scenes really made me understand how and why it is considered this way. There is a story behind each element that goes into the car; from the colours to the interior design.
This showed us their intricacy to detail which was amazing, to say the least. Our tour guide told us stories of a bead that was on a dress of a princess that consisted of a particular tone of blue, which was used to create the colour for the new Bentley Continental GT; or how the wood used for the interior used a mirroring effect to create asymmetry.
Seeing how each element of the car is made helped put into perspective the modules we have been taught like branding or relationship marketing. During our branding lectures, Dr Omar Merlo taught us how branding is carried out. Professor Andreas Eisingerich elaborated on that, teaching us the three benefits which are important for a brand to have for it to be admired by both customers and employees. Bentley is the perfect example.
Customers know that when they are investing in a Bentley, it’s not only a car, it’s an experience and an investment towards a vehicle that is not only beautiful but comfortable. This belief was visible when we spoke to the tour guide. He was one of three generations who worked at Bentley, where his grandfather started and today, he and his son are working there.
Employees are not worked hard but are rewarded: you truly feel the TGIF moment at Bentley, where they close at noon on Fridays and have the opportunity to enjoy their weekends. From the enthusiasm and smile of our guide and the man working around the factory, it was clear that a happy employee equals a successful company.
In the last hour of our tour, we visited the showrooms, where we saw the first Bentley ever made, the man behind the brand, the idea behind the “wings” and the new and vintage models of the cars. We then met the Marketing Manager, who gave us insight into their future plans.
The visit was truly a journey, helping us understand how a brand is made and what makes Bentley so beautifully classy. It is truly storytelling at its finest.