Bridgestone South Africa

Why it’s Important to be No 1

Sep 01, 2018

Being named the top-selling tyre company again is more than a good PR opportunity - it shows that consumers see the value Bridgestone offers.

By Thandeka Ngoma, Marketing Executive, Bridgestone South Africa

Tire Business publishes an annual ranking of the world’s tyre companies and the 2017 rankings have just been released. For the 10th year in a row, Bridgestone was ranked in the No. 1 slot.

For us, this ranking is highly significant because it shows how consumers rate the brand and its promise. Most importantly, rankings are based on revenue from the sale of tyres each company has manufactured. The aim is to achieve a more equitable comparison that compares apples with apples. Thus, a company that produces six types of tyre will be ranked on the sales of those products, while a company that produces 30 types of tyre will be ranked on the sales of that product set. Rankings therefore depend on the level of consumer preference for a tyre brand’s tyres, rather than absolute revenue figures.

The ranking tells us that consumers see tremendous value in this combination of quality and innovation leading to performance. Another way of understanding this is to see it as a function of the brand’s power to communicate a proposition that is centred on value for money, and not just a simple and brutal conversation about price.

Bridgestone is a premium brand, and its brand equity is built on the quality and performance it offers - not the price at which it sells. But price does play a role. Consumers only accept the price premium if they perceive it to offer value for money.

180 Global Research and Development Facilities

That premium positioning is founded on our global network of 180 manufacturing and R&D facilities. Bridgestone spends substantially on R&D and this ensures a strong innovation pipeline along with a solid relationship with all the leading vehicle manufacturers. These manufacturers have long valued Bridgestone’s ability to turn cutting-edge concepts into commercially viable product, enabling each vehicle to reach its full performance potential.

For us, the brand is everything. We are continually working to strengthen it and take it to new audiences. An example of this is our worldwide partnership with the Olympic Games currently being activated by an inspirational “Chase your dream, no matter what” campaign in Europe. Rolling out to South Africa next year, hopefully it will resonate with local consumers and enable the brand to gain the same heights locally as it has achieved internationally.

Our efforts to build the brand have seen its value grow by 50 percent between 2013 and 2017, according to Interbrand.

Yes, it is great to be ranked No. 1 in sales, but only because the ranking really shows that Bridgestone is the brand chosen by most consumers, most of the time. This means everything.

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Bridgestone South Africa

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