GKN Extreme B2B
Go back a decade, 25% of a company’s market cap was its brand equity. Today, it’s about 13%. A recent Markables AG study (2016) argues the new focus is the value of customer relations. This has risen from representing 12% of market cap to 24%. This shift in focus is largely thanks to the increasing ability of web-analytics to track customer sentiment, engagement and ultimately, behaviour. However, anecdotally it also maps with the Millennials appetite for unique experiences.
A good example of this experiential focus and drive to nurture collaboration in the B2B space is GKNs winter testing activities in Arjeplog, Sweden – a small community hugging the edge of the Arctic Circle. The combination of extreme winter conditions and thousands of kilometres of frozen lakes and icy roads makes this the ideal environment for testing next generation automotive technologies and systems. It’s also the perfect environment for nurturing strong customer relationships.
GKN specialises in the development of advanced systems for powering vehicles –driveline technologies. In laymans terms that’s getting the energy from the engine to the wheels. It’s big business. And it’s now going through a major transformation as the automobile is weaned off fossil fuels to embrace hybrid and electric. However, as a subtext this remote Swedish enclave is a great place for GKN to forge deeper relationships with the designers and engineers of the major car brands –their customers. Winter testing offers a unique and exhilarating experience.
Shelton Fleming has worked with GKN to build on the edge of the winter testing track, a high-tech product showcase and (snug) lounge as the consulting hub for their top clients.
Whilst engineers love coming to Arjeplog for its intense testing environment and near-mythical atmosphere, many competitors typically set up camp alongside each other for the winter months. This makes keeping new technologies and ideas secret, a challenge. Our GKN consulting lounge and product showcase provides a secure environment for exhibiting technologies and hosting private seminars and meetings supported by creature comforts, like quality catering.
Data Source: Markables AG, 2016 UK study. Markables analyse a database of 8,200 M&A transactions worldwide.
Author: Andrew Reid is a strategy director at Shelton Fleming, a creative agency that works with the world’s top brands. The agency is known for intelligent live events that give brands a personal connection to audiences.