• Andy Marston

Why Michelin's marketing tactics are yet to Tyre

The Michelin Guide is one of the finest early examples of content marketing. Here's a quick story of how it came about, and how it's being applied today by sports apparel retailers.

Photo Source: Bournemouth Echo


In 1900, there were fewer than 3,000 cars on the roads of France. To increase the demand for cars and, accordingly, car tyres, tyre manufacturers and brothers Édouard and André Michelin published a guide for French motorists, the Michelin Guide.


The guide provided useful information to motorists, such as maps, tyre repair and replacement instructions, car mechanics listings, hotels, and petrol stations throughout France.


Over 100 years later, it’s still well-known and arguably one of the finest early examples of content marketing.


This is because the Michelin brothers recognised there were two ways to increase sales of tyres – either increase the number of cars sold or increase the usage. As such, the guide, which later included ‘Michelin star’ restaurants, was designed to encourage motorists to make more journeys, as well as increase the demand for personal vehicles.


In the modern day, it is interesting to explore opportunities for a similar method to be embraced, particularly within a sporting context.


Wiggle, a European sports retailer that sells cycling, running, swimming and outdoor equipment and apparel, provides a strong example.


The company hosts a whole collection of long-distance organised cycling events, called sportives. They also describe them as a “superb way to explore a new area on your bike” thus encouraging riders to travel further afield.


The premise is simple, the more you use your cycling equipment, the more likely you are to buy more (and better) equipment in future, and this could be applied to ample other examples too.


Asics hosts running events and Nike's Running Club app let's you add shoes and track their mileage (so you know when it’s time to buy a fresh pair). What examples have you encountered? And where else could this be applied?


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