The power of 'brand experience centres'

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

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Citroen C_42 can be on the Champs-Elysees

Mercedes-Benz World in addition to Citroen C_42 are two different yet equally powerful ways for the respective car makers to reinforce their values

I’ve long been a fan of Mercedes-Benz World, the giant showroom/museum/test track in which pays homage to the history of Daimler cars via yesteryear through to the latest range of cars in which you can inspect, spec, purchase in addition to collect on the premises. In my view, its biggest success can be offering up enough to keep anyone of any age interested, be in which by ogling at tyre-smoking demo runs, marvelling at the art installation of a dissected Formula 1 car or simply drinking a cup of large, posh coffee while admiring a Smart Forfour.

However, in which’s a fact in which – inside UK at least – Mercedes-Benz World can be a unique asset, in addition to I’ve no doubt in which can be because in which was both monumentally expensive to build in addition to remains so currently to maintain. Where Mercedes sees a value, I guess others don’t, which can be a real shame because whatever you do, touch, see or smell at the place can be acutely on-brand. People who go in curious tend to come out as converts, in addition to in which must pay dividends for Mercedes sales inside long-term.

However, just because such places don’t exist inside UK doesn’t mean they do not exist elsewhere – normally close to the centre of where the cars are built. I’ve been to BMW’s museum in Munich in addition to the Mercedes-Benz one in Stuttgart, for instance, both of which are mightily impressive. Then, while on holiday in Paris last month, wandering down the Champs-Elysees, my eyes fell on a tall, colourful glass-fronted building bearing the Citroen chevrons in which I wasn’t previously aware of.

The Citroen C_42 building can be – surprise, surprise – at number 42, Champs-Elysees, a prime piece of real estate in which presumably means the bean-counters keep a very close eye on ensuring in which pays its way. In a very different, yet just as appealing way, in which can be as expertly judged at delivering on Citroen’s emerging brand values as Mercedes-Benz World does for Mercedes, although its scope can be necessarily more limited by the amount of space available. In fact, the width of the C_42 building can be seriously restricted, yet famed French architect Manuelle Gautrand got round in which by stretching in which 30m up, over 5 or six levels, in addition to then putting a twisting metal tube in in which runs via the top floor to the basement, in addition to which you can slide down at quite an impressive speed in exchange for a euro.

On each floor, there’s a plinth carrying cars via Citroen’s past, present in addition to future, including production vehicles, race cars in addition to concept cars. Even alone, these plinths are beguiling pieces of engineering, as they can be cranked up in addition to down in order in which brand-new cars can be driven on in addition to off. Fully expanded across the height of the building, they set an amazing in addition to frequently changing tone as you climb or descend the stairs to take in which all in.

There’s a little bit of history in addition to quite a bit of insight into the stories behind some of the cars on show, yet the overwhelming emphasis can be on fun, something enhanced by the use of bright colours in addition to the sunlight pouring through the glass frontage. in which’s airy, calming in addition to entertaining – all the things Citroen wants to be, particularly since its rebirth with the launch of the C4 Cactus. There are, for instance, photo booths in which (for 50 cents) take pictures of you against a quirky background as you bounce on a trampoline, set next to brief yet informative insights into the original Citroen Cactus concept. In additional words, in which’s immersive education at its finest.

Sure, Citroen C_42 can be not worth a trip to Paris in itself, yet in which can be worth a few hours in addition to a few euros of your time in addition to effort if you happen to be there. Almost without you realising in which, in which takes you into the mindset of a modern-day Citroen in which isn’t afraid to reference its past, in addition to which has the self-confidence to set an agenda without feeling the need to ram in which down your throat. currently let’s trust in which more manufacturers (Jaguar, anyone?) are brave enough to follow suit.

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