Brands We Love: Pininfarina
November 8, 2011 ‐ 0 comments

You've got to admire a brand that can successfully bridge the gap between Ferrari and Hyundai. And if you're in charge of a brand of your own, it's worth looking at how far Pininfarina have managed to stretch their brand's equity without overextending it.

Their auto clients have not only spanned Ferrari to Hyundai; they've ranged from Maserati to Mitsubishi; from Rolls Royce to Ford. They're moving into electric vehicles. Their non-auto work includes speedboats, commuter trains, perfume bottles and luxury hotels. (photos of some of their work below)

How do they pull it off successfully?

  1. A Rock-Solid Foundation. If Pininfarina had only designed one or two luxury vehicles and then moved into other segments and industries, the brand would have been relegated to mediocrity long ago. They haven't and it hasn't. Pininfarina has designed almost every Ferrari of the last 60 years, creating an extremely strong base from which to grow their brand. It's the same reason Missoni can sell at Target and sell a jacket for $5,500 a few weeks later.
  2. Confidence in their Customers. Pininfarina can trust that virtually every one of their prospects (corporate buyers - not consumers) knows their body of work intimately. That's why they don't have to splash Ferrari all over the home page; that's why they have been happy to work (in moderation) with non-luxury/non-performance/non-automotive brands.
  3. Knowledge of Self. While Pininfarina's business depends on auto work, they do not define themselves as car designers - they define themselves as designers. Their mission is not merely to design cars  - it is to create and innovate with style.

Are Pininfarina perfect? Of course not. They've just announced the closure of their auto production operations, they've sold their majority stake in their eight-year-old JV with Volvo and their stock is close to de-listing territory. The assertions above are our educated professional opinions, but there is the chance that their brand-building success could just be dumb luck.

Despite the inner volatility, the brand it projects to the outside world remains sleek and desirable. It is, after all, Italian. Anything else would be off-brand.


[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Ooooh[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Aaaaaaah[/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Niiiiice[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Sweeeet[/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Siiiiigh[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Swoooon[/caption]
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Looooove[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="142"] Must...Have...[/caption]


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