Despite world wide recession, it seems that some companies are able to buck the trend and not only hang on to their customers but build on them. In these austere times, you might figure that it’s those that offering cheaper alternatives, and increasing the “bang-for-buck” factor who are seeing sales rocket, but no, lots of the growth is actually coming from somewhere very different and that’s “expensive, but cool product”.
“High End Products” is the term most used and probably the best example of this is Apple, where iPhone has become the phone of choice for pretty much anyone who can afford it, and that’s despite it not being as good as much of its competition. iPad, iPhone and Mac laptops are all selling, yet they are all stupidly expensive compared to their competition, but they are cool and their owners think they send a positive message which enhances their image as one who likes the best and can afford to own it!
So clearly, the ticket price isn’t what this is all about and that’s again highlighted by the announcement that German car maker Audi who aren’t exactly known for stacking high and selling cheap, have just announced a revenue of over €25.0 billion and that’s up by 16.2% or around on the previous year and produced an operating profit of €2.9 Billion.
Audi anticipate that growth in their market is going to continue and are predicting they will supply around 1.4 million cars world wide in 2012 on the back of over 1.3 million vehicles sold in 2011, which itself was up by 14% over 2010. The chaps from Ingolstadt certainly have their act together and buyers, who prefer a bit of quality and are quite obviously happy to pay a premium to get it.
We like Audi product a lot. But like other high end alternatives, it’s not all perfect and whilst in lots of ways, it offers good value for money, in many others, that couldn’t be further from truth. Still, the fact remains that as long as there are enough people around to want to pay a premium for a badge, or a logo, or a marketing campaign, or simply just to feel they are a bit cooler than the other guy, Audi can keep counting the euros.