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Collaboration Makes the Extraordinary Possible for Bentley and Mobil1

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How do you organise a one-of-a-kind customer event in one of the most inaccessible, wildest parts of the world? Finding the answer was a key test for Bentley and Mobil1 as they pushed the limits of their strategic partnership in the first of a series of adventure drives called Extraordinary World. Discover more: http://bit.ly/2oaifTl

Published in: Automotive

Collaboration Makes the Extraordinary Possible for Bentley and Mobil1

  1. 1. B entley invited a small group of selected guests to drive its new Bentayga across the Atacama Desert of Chile and the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the largest salt flats on the planet. The idea was to provide customers with the chance to experience the high-performance capabilities of the Bentayga, Bentley’s first ever SUV, across some of the most challenging terrain possible. The drive covered 1,000 kilometres (620 miles), at altitudes of up to 4,900 metres (16,076 feet), where the air was extremely thin, temperatures ranged from -10° C at night to 35° C, and participants were often hundreds of miles from the nearest town or filling station. How do you organise a one-of-a-kind customer event in one of the most inaccessible, wildest parts of the world? Finding the answer was a key test for Bentley and Mobil1 as they pushed the limits of their strategic partnership in the first of a series of adventure drives called Extraordinary World COLLABORATION MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY POSSIBLE WORDS: WILLIAM HIGGINS INTERVIEWEES: STEVEN EGAN AND HAUKE BRAACK THE FIRST IN OUR SPECIAL SERIES OF LINKEDIN ARTICLES FOR BUSINESS LEADERS
  2. 2. 2 COLLABORATION MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY POSSIBLE “We chose these locations because of the extremes,” explains Steven Egan, Marketing Operations Manager at Bentley. “We really wanted to push the car to its limits in all terrains and give our guests an experience they would never forget, including the opportunity of driving across the salt flats at speeds of up to 270km/h across vast arid expanses.” The conditions alone would be daunting for even the boldest adventurer. But there was another major challenge to overcome – there was no reliable supply of the high-octane fuel or engine oils they needed in Bolivia. It could have been a major stumbling block were it not for the support of Bentley’s technical partner, Mobil1. “Having a partner we could rely on to pull out all the stops really made the difference,” says Steven. “They were there for us at every stage, advising on how to optimise engine performance in these extremes and exactly how much fuel we’d need for each journey. Mobil1 used its global logistics network to help us transport the supplies that were needed. And when we realised we couldn’t get the oils we needed in Bolivia, they mobilised their contacts in Chile to deliver a special shipment across the Andes to where they were needed in one of the remotest places on Earth. “This is why the partnership with Mobil1 is so special,” he adds. “No ordinary supplier would have gone to such lengths to deliver for us. It enabled us to showcase the new Bentayga, to create a memorable experience for some of our most engaged customers, and to show Bentley in a completely new environment.” The customers who participated in this South American adventure were surprised and delighted. One guest remarked: “Thank you for the opportunity to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Amazing. The memories will last a lifetime.” Another said: “The defining moment was when we returned to tar-sealed roads after five hard days off-road. There wasn’t a rattle anywhere.” “Mobil1 used its global logistics network to help us transport supplies that were needed”
  3. 3. 3 COLLABORATION MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY POSSIBLE It wasn’t the first time that Mobil1 has helped Bentley overcome the challenges of extreme driving conditions. It also assisted Bentley to achieve the previous Ice Speed World Record, set in 2011 in the Bentley Continental Supersports. “For us, it’s about bringing the technical story to life,” says Hauke Braack, Strategic Global Account Manager at Mobil1. “In extreme situations, people can really see why engine performance matters and how the right oils and fuels are so vital. That is important for us because you don’t normally see oils; they simply don’t stir your emotions. But with a great car and a great story, they can become a hero.” “In extreme situations, people can see why engine performance matters and how the right oils and fuels are so vital”
  4. 4. 4 BUILD ON TRUST 1. BUILD ON TRUST Bentley and Mobil1 have invested in the relationship since the early 2000s when they agreed to partner on lubricants and engine oils. This grew into a wider formal partnership that was cemented when Bentley returned to GT motorsport in 2013. Mobil1 now sponsors the Bentley Motorsport team annually through top-level GT races held around the globe. “In motorsport, trust is everything,” explains Will Hunt, Engineering Manager at Bentley Motorsport. “It enables you to experiment and innovate. For example, we’ve allowed Mobil1 to completely strip down our engines and look at every component part so we can optimise performance. That’s only possible because we trust them and we know they’ll keep it confidential. “Mobil1 has helped us push the limits of what our engines can do – much as they in the 1920s did with the original Bentley Boys when they supercharged W.O. Bentley’s 8-litre machines – increasing their service life and reducing CO2 emissions. It has also given Mobil1 the opportunity to test new oils under different driving conditions and take that experimental learning back to the lab to develop new products.” “In motorsport, trust is everything” HOW TO MAKE YOUR PARTNERSHIP RUN LIKE A WELL-OILED ENGINE…
  5. 5. 5 INTEGRATE THE PARTNERSHIP INTO EACH BUSINESS 2. INTEGRATE THE PARTNERSHIP INTO EACH BUSINESS The relationship between Bentley and Mobil1 goes way beyond the race track and is deeply ingrained in the operational life of both businesses. As well as endorsing Mobil1 as its recommended supplier of engine oils, Bentley works with its dealer network to help Mobil1 maximise penetration in every market where its cars are sold. “Our relationship works because we’ve integrated it into everything we do,” says Steven. “For example, we invite Mobil1 to our global retailer conference and arrange for them to facilitate engaging workshops with our delegates. They are also woven into our after sales communications in support of the retailer network.” “You need to think about the details, as well as the big, high-profile stuff,” says Hauke. “For example, under the bonnet of every Bentley there is a plaque recommending Mobil1. There’s a red thread from that label to the GT championship races that ties Bentley and Mobil1 together in people’s minds and builds their confidence in both brands.” “Our relationship works because we’ve integrated it into everything we do”
  6. 6. 6 ENSURE YOUR TEAMS TALK TO EACH OTHER 3. ENSURE YOUR TEAMS TALK TO EACH OTHER One of the ways in which Bentley and Mobil1 have developed their partnership is by connecting people from similar roles in both companies, from the CEO to the factory floor, making sure that everyone knows each other and importantly who is responsible for what. “A great partnership is much more than putting two logos together,” says Hauke. “The brands need to be a natural fit. And both organisations have to commit fully and involve people at every level. For example, we have developed relationships between our offices and representatives all round the world. They talk constantly and are empowered to organise their own joint events locally.” “The brands need to be a natural fit and to involve people at every level”
  7. 7. 7 ESTABLISH A SOLID FRAMEWORK BUT KEEP IT FLEXIBLE 4. ESTABLISH A SOLID FRAMEWORK BUT KEEP IT FLEXIBLE A key factor in the success of any strategic partnership is the kind of agreement you have. Bentley and Mobil1 have a global framework agreement that covers everything from motorsport to road cars, retailer relationships, marketing and communications. Steven explains: “It gives everyone a clear idea of what we’re doing, how we operate, who to contact – and sets out clear roles, responsibilities, goals and ambitions. But it is also flexible. Importantly, it allows room to evolve and to change plans, if needed. “Both Power on Ice and Extraordinary World are examples of large-scale events requiring an integrated partnership approach and fall outside the agreement. They weren’t written down anywhere. But we decided to collaborate and we had the flexibility within the agreement to divert unused budget from other joint events to help cover the costs.” “Importantly, our framework allows room to evolve and to change plans”
  8. 8. 8 REVIEW RESULTS AND EVALUATE 5. REVIEW RESULTS AND EVALUATE Bentley and Mobil1 also structure time at least once a year to take stock of what they’ve achieved together. They look at the results and learn from the feedback from events and activities. “We try to build on the successes and ask why some things didn’t work,” says Hauke. For example, recent feedback showed that motorsport fans trackside desired more technical information, so the partners are increasing their presence, with new exhibits to showcase Bentley and Mobil1 engineering achievements. “We try to build on the successes and ask why some things didn’t work”
  9. 9. CONTACT Mobil1 ANDREA JACOBSEN E andrea.jacobsen@exxonmobil.com T +49 (0)4102 456990 If you would like more information on Bentley Motors Limited or Mobil1 partnerships, please contact: Bentley Motors Limited STEVEN EGAN E steven.egan@bentley.co.uk T +44 (0)1270 387302

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