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Old 4 Mar 2017, 16:13 (Ref:3716459)   #1
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Branding

Now, I don't claim to be a marketing expert. But why don't car manufacturers who control multiple brands use F1 more effectively? Renault could, for example, have stipulated that Toro Rosso ran with Nissan on the engine cover; Haas could use Alfa Romeo-branded engines. It seems such a simple thing, but (as far as I know) it's never really been tried (I discount things like Sauber branding their engines as Petronas and so on). Thoughts?
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Old 4 Mar 2017, 17:21 (Ref:3716472)   #2
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My opinion is that most see through the facade. Such as the ridiculousness of the current Red Bull Tag Heuer engine. We all know it's a Renault. Tag Heuer makes watches not F1 engines. Even if badged as a Nissan, we know it's a Renault. The only exception in my opinion is if you brand them all the same. Such as VW has a slew of brands. They could assemble an engine design team from various parts of their empire or even outsource a full design and then decide to badge it as they like... Porsche, Audi, etc. Not that I believe that is how VW would do it, but I just use them as an example.

The other alternative would be if there was something different other than the name printed on the marketing material. For example if someone in the larger Fiat domain used the Ferrari engine as a basis and made their own unique version. But given the complexity of the engines today, that is an unlikely path.

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Old 4 Mar 2017, 17:39 (Ref:3716474)   #3
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Well, die-hard fans will see through the façade, of course (and anyone who posts on this forum is by definition a die-hard fan). But if the average punter will buy an Audi A3 believing it's different from a Volkswagen Golf, won't he or she perhaps be impressed if a Nissan-powered Toro Rosso does well in a Grand Prix?
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Old 4 Mar 2017, 18:15 (Ref:3716478)   #4
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is it an association issue?

RB is selling a product which for all intents and purposes is a premium energy drink so why would they want to associate themselves with a car make that is not considered premium?

STR is a bit different in that they seem to selling a 'RB lifestyle'/youthful image and i suspect driving around in a Nissan doesn't much match their dream of being 'cool'.

Infiniti made more sense but the issues between Renault and RB put an end to that.

or could it be a similar problem to the one teams had with tobacco liveries?

like cars, tobacco companies sell their products in different countries under different brand names and while certain brands were more recognizable in Country A vs Country B, F1 rules did not allow them to change their liveries for each country so they chose to opt for the more recognizable brand of the parent corporation?
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Old 4 Mar 2017, 22:47 (Ref:3716510)   #5
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But surely, by that logic, splitting your bets would make sense?
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 00:34 (Ref:3716527)   #6
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It's an interesting point. Even if you "see through the façade" surely you see that, say, Renault and Nissan share resource in their road cars so it is a legit association?
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 11:25 (Ref:3716641)   #7
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You then have to consider corporate representation on the podium. Would corporate Renault to keep the analogy going, want a Nissan or Renault logo on the drivers overalls on the podium.
Or worse, not being able to display the Renault logo, for the World Championship winning constructor that is powered by a Dacia branded Renault. Likewise not being able to have the coveted FIA World Chamionship logo on every Renault Tv or magazine advert.
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 11:55 (Ref:3716643)   #8
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My opinion is that most see through the facade. Such as the ridiculousness of the current Red Bull Tag Heuer engine. We all know it's a Renault. Tag Heuer makes watches not F1 engines. Even if badged as a Nissan, we know it's a Renault. The only exception in my opinion is if you brand them all the same. Such as VW has a slew of brands. They could assemble an engine design team from various parts of their empire or even outsource a full design and then decide to badge it as they like... Porsche, Audi, etc. Not that I believe that is how VW would do it, but I just use them as an example.

The other alternative would be if there was something different other than the name printed on the marketing material. For example if someone in the larger Fiat domain used the Ferrari engine as a basis and made their own unique version. But given the complexity of the engines today, that is an unlikely path.

Richard
We'd see through it, but the Renault isn't a Renault anyway - it's a Mecachrome. So whether it has a Renault, Nissan, Tag or whatever badge, it isn't built by any of them. So at that point, does it matter?

I don't know if the Mercedes engine is built by them. I assume Ferrari doesn't contract it out.
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 13:50 (Ref:3716657)   #9
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Mercedes engines are built at their Brixworth facility, aren't they?
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 15:34 (Ref:3716677)   #11
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And, if I am not mistaken, used to be known as Ilmor until Mercedes bought them out.

And "branding" or "badging" power units silly, just as it would have been to badge the Mercedes unit as an Aston Martin which was being suggested as being on the cards for Force India.

Why? Does it really fool anyone?
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 15:48 (Ref:3716678)   #12
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I'm not sure that the loaded term "fool" is really appropriate, but if the casual observer saw a Toro Rosso driver on the podium with a Nissan patch on his overalls, he or she might think "Nissan = motorsports".
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Old 5 Mar 2017, 15:55 (Ref:3716683)   #13
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It does remind me how engines used to be rebranded when the manufacturer left, i.e. Megatron, Mugen, Mechachrome, Supertec, Playlife, Ilmor etc.
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Old 6 Mar 2017, 09:13 (Ref:3716807)   #14
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Well Red Bull did do it with Infiniti.

But the charade falls away for even casual fans when you watch the race and commentators say Renault, then Ted is chatting to people and talking about Red Bull's engine problem outside the Renault hospitality

It is basically pointless marketing, other than Nissan chucking Vettel in a few hopped up Nissans and trying to sell cars based on them winning a few races.

If you think back tot eh 80's people did really think the McLaren engine was a TAG, when we all knew it was a Porsche, but that charade was relatively successful I think.

You had PETRONAS calling a Ferrari engine, Playlife doing it with Renault, possibly the worst ever one!!

Red Bull do it to some extent by advertising different brands on their cars. But agreed, I think I saw ALfa badged on one car from testing?
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Old 6 Mar 2017, 09:58 (Ref:3716813)   #15
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Well Red Bull did do it with Infiniti.

But the charade falls away for even casual fans when you watch the race and commentators say Renault, then Ted is chatting to people and talking about Red Bull's engine problem outside the Renault hospitality

It is basically pointless marketing, other than Nissan chucking Vettel in a few hopped up Nissans and trying to sell cars based on them winning a few races.

If you think back tot eh 80's people did really think the McLaren engine was a TAG, when we all knew it was a Porsche, but that charade was relatively successful I think.

You had PETRONAS calling a Ferrari engine, Playlife doing it with Renault, possibly the worst ever one!!

Red Bull do it to some extent by advertising different brands on their cars. But agreed, I think I saw ALfa badged on one car from testing?
I do believe the Ferrari carried Alfa Romeo branding at some stage!
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