The Grenadier Forum
Register a free account today, you'll be able to post, access to the Technical section of the site, access the classified ads, and participate in group buys as well as other benefits. If you are an INEOS Agent/Dealer please contact admin@theineosforum.com for a commercial account. Unsolicited sales by any 3rd party are strictly against the terms and conditions of the forum. If you wish to be a registered vendor or partner then please contact admin@theineosforum.com for further information.

Interview with Claire Birchenough-Dwyer, the Brand Communications Manager, INEOS Automotive

DCPU

Very Active Contributor
Contract Signed
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
2,037
Reaction score
4,399
PUBLISHED ON 12 10 2022
Claire Birchenough is the Brand Communications Manager for the INEOS Automotive Group. INEOS, a global chemical company that comprises of 36 businesses with 194 sites in 29 countries around the world, has in the last few years launched INEOS Automotive, with the Grenadier as the first of many vehicles to come. A 4×4 that is built on purpose, will get you there and get the job done. Claire’s responsibility is for the brand identity and the communications plan across all channels for the Automotive group.

BRAND LOYALTY IS OUR MAIN INGREDIENT FOR BRAND GROWTH
When discussing the importance and the main ingredients for brand growth for the Grenadier, it is apparent that brand growth for this niche brand and product, isn’t built through mass awareness. As a new player in the quite established automotive industry, it’s not easy to immediately cut through without either a brand new story or an enormous marketing budget. Claire explains: ‘’For INEOS, it is crucial to build credibility and create a fanbase.” Claire adds: ‘’For us, it is more important to be true to the original mission and what the company believes in, and to give our customers what they want.’’ She continued: ‘Building a high quality product, means we practice what we promise.’’

“People find out how brilliant the Grenadier is by getting behind the wheel and experiencing the quality and greatness of the brand.”

Claire explains that part of her own journey to adjust her approach for the Grenadier brand, had a real moment of truth: ‘’I joined the tour 2B prototype event in Spring 2021, an inclusive event for about 20 people and their families. Someone came up to me to ask some general questions about the Grenadier brand. At the time, I was wearing a pin badge of the Grenadier logo, as soon as he saw it, his eyes lit up and he asked several times to have it! That was the moment that I realised that this was a brand for fans, and not a brand for everyone. Brand loyalists want to rave about it and share it with their families.’’

A DIFFERENT APPROACH
For Grenadier, a niche approach for a niche product is far more effective than driving mass appeal. Claire explains: ‘’We have the freedom to do things differently than everyone else in the automotive industry. Our way of marketing is to have test drives around the world, from the mountains of Austria to the Sahara desert, and sharing these experiences, as well as showing people behind the scenes. While some companies might be worried about showing something has gone wrong, we are happy to show everyone that not everything works how we hoped, every time.’’

In the automotive sector, is there a risk of not appealing to everyone and therefore diluting brand loyalty? While discussing the brand’s authenticity, Claire mentions: ‘’We have a single-minded clear brand and proposition, and everything stems around that. Many brands do not have that kind of focused goal. We ask ourselves, is that marketing campaign or product feature aligned to our brand, is it purposeful?”

“To be authentic is to be unapologetically clear about who you are, and to be unafraid to not be for everyone.”

BRAND ASSOCIATIONS DETERMINE THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
Consumers also have moments of truth associated with the brand, from landmine clearers through to kayaking business owners, the same vehicle meets so many different needs, its easy to create emotional connections. Claire shares: ‘’Besides its rational function, the purchase of the Grenadier often reflects their personality and identity, which clearly says something about them. If we, as a brand, are clear about who we are, that is reflective of who they are, and that is something they buy into. If two Grenadier buyers see each other at the pub, and they see their car keys, they immediately have some form of connection because it is likely they share the same kind of lifestyle.’’

CUSTOMER JOURNEY
For INEOS, the post-purchase is a crucial part of the customer journey. Claire elaborates: ‘’People tend to buy vehicles every three years, but we always believe in a car being a long-term thing, because it is built as a durable vehicle. We want the car to be a brilliant experience for a long time. It is not just about marketing, but also the customer journey, which is to create something that is made to last.’’

Claire shares her thoughts on the role of media, innovation, and influencing the customer’s moment of truth: ‘’We know that most people have heard about us through specifically the automotive press which is a great way to inform and be informed within our category. But to take our customers on the journey requires more than that, so we use our website and email journey to take people behind the scenes. We take them on the Grenadier testing series, we bring them into the factory and help the customer have that driving experience without having driven the vehicle yet.’’ Claire adds: ‘’We create exceptionally authentic photography and film to give that physical presence and experience, even when they are not the ones driving. Having a sense of innovation, a feeling of difference, and not doing it like everybody else, is key for us at INEOS Grenadier. The car itself is already unique, and we want our marketing to be just as unique and create many more moments of truth for our customers.‘’

Claire-Birchenough-photo-1225x600.jpg

 

DaveB

Veteran Contributor
In Production
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
5,651
Location
Gold Coast Australia
Ineos are doing the smart thing with the Belstaff editions. They will be buying thousands of jackets off Belstaff to give away with their vehicles and I bet they haven't been able to haggle a discount.
It will be a sure bet that all other Ineos companies will be encouraged to buy Grenadiers as company vehicles as well.
There's a few thousand vehicles each year.
I bet their employees will also get special pricing and encouragement to buy the same as most other car makers do.
 

emax

Veteran Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
Feb 23, 2022
Messages
2,662
Reaction score
3,515
Location
Germany
That's what I would probably do as well. Smartest way ro subsidise the own company.
 
Last edited:

Max

Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
May 9, 2022
Messages
380
Reaction score
770
Location
Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia
Ineos are doing the smart thing with the Belstaff editions. They will be buying thousands of jackets off Belstaff to give away with their vehicles and I bet they haven't been able to haggle a discount.
It will be a sure bet that all other Ineos companies will be encouraged to buy Grenadiers as company vehicles as well.
There's a few thousand vehicles each year.
I bet their employees will also get special pricing and encouragement to buy the same as most other car makers do.
What a great way to not, have to pay for extra salespeople...they are in the group already. I believe Claire spoke of me quite a few times in the article.
 

DCPU

Very Active Contributor
Contract Signed
Joined
Jul 27, 2022
Messages
2,037
Reaction score
4,399
No better way to keep the money in the family.

Whilst many of Ineos' businesses might be considered too far upstream for direct trading relationships, there are a few notable exceptions:

Screenshot_20221015_045110.jpg
 

bemax

Active Contributor
In Production
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
929
Reaction score
1,712
Location
🇩🇪 Germany
Ineos are doing the smart thing with the Belstaff editions. They will be buying thousands of jackets off Belstaff to give away with their vehicles and I bet they haven't been able to haggle a discount.
It will be a sure bet that all other Ineos companies will be encouraged to buy Grenadiers as company vehicles as well.
There's a few thousand vehicles each year.
I bet their employees will also get special pricing and encouragement to buy the same as most other car makers do.
But this would only make sense for substitute other 4x4 cars and buy the Grenadier instead. As a IG has much higher costs per km/mile than other cars have. I do not think that this is a suitable approach for the majority of cars in the industrial complex of INEOS. But it would work for some areas of course,
 

DaveB

Veteran Contributor
In Production
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
5,651
Location
Gold Coast Australia
But this would only make sense for substitute other 4x4 cars and buy the Grenadier instead. As a IG has much higher costs per km/mile than other cars have. I do not think that this is a suitable approach for the majority of cars in the industrial complex of INEOS. But it would work for some areas of course,
Fuel costs are very little compared to the profits they make from selling the vehicles and the advertising they would get from people seeing more of them on the street. As you said all their 4WD vehicles would change over but I also think all their management and executives could change. I can only imagine the response if any manager said they didn't want to drive one after Sir Jim pulls up in one.
 

bemax

Active Contributor
In Production
Joined
May 12, 2022
Messages
929
Reaction score
1,712
Location
🇩🇪 Germany
Fuel costs are very little compared to the profits they make from selling the vehicles and the advertising they would get from people seeing more of them on the street. As you said all their 4WD vehicles would change over but I also think all their management and executives could change. I can only imagine the response if any manager said they didn't want to drive one after Sir Jim pulls up in one.
Yes some of the managers would see it as a cool alternative to their Mercedes or BMW. So we are quite close in our opinion. I just doubted that there would be a significant percentage of the companies cars changed in a Grenadier. At least as long as they are able to sell them to people who pay the full prices.
That fuel, tax and insurance are not that a big point is not what I do believe. The accountants are looking more and more on this costs as the prices rise and rise!
 

klarie

Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
238
Reaction score
689
Location
Rhine - Main Area / Germany
Speaking of the company I am working for - they re "woke", any gender, avoid aircraft, pedelec, electric vehicle preffered, but there are in the list of vehicles still a few diesel or petrol powered, that can be requested. In some cases an employee must pay some monthly fee on top of taxes benefit in kind. (there are some 4wd or SUV -lookalike) but real offroaders - no way.
As I work mostly from homeoffice I discarded the company car programme.
 

DaveB

Veteran Contributor
In Production
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
5,651
Location
Gold Coast Australia
Speaking of the company I am working for - they re "woke", any gender, avoid aircraft, pedelec, electric vehicle preffered, but there are in the list of vehicles still a few diesel or petrol powered, that can be requested. In some cases an employee must pay some monthly fee on top of taxes benefit in kind. (there are some 4wd or SUV -lookalike) but real offroaders - no way.
As I work mostly from homeoffice I discarded the company car programme.
My company just pays a flat monthly car allowance with my pay each month and I have to use it to cover the costs of a suitable car.
This covers finance, registration, taxes, maintenance, insurance, tyres etc.
On top of this they give me a Fleetcard to pay for the cost of fuel.
The guidelines are the vehicle should be 4 door and use no more than 10 litres/100kms.
It should be no more than 10 years old.
These however are only guidelines.
I can also claim back any work related tolls on my monthly expenses or just claim 80% of all my tolls.
A simple and easy system which allows me to choose virtually whichever car I want and I end up owning it.
 

grenadierboy

Active Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
Apr 6, 2022
Messages
741
Reaction score
1,158
Location
Armadale Australia
DaveB - is this car arrangement (monthly taxable allowance) with your employer less tax efficient than the company leasing a car and providing it to you with the associated fringe benefits tax?
 

DaveB

Veteran Contributor
In Production
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
5,651
Location
Gold Coast Australia
DaveB - is this car arrangement (monthly taxable allowance) with your employer less tax efficient than the company leasing a car and providing it to you with the associated fringe benefits tax?
It is easier for the company to administer and becomes a variable rather than a fixed cost for them.
The company doesn't carry the liability of car leases, insurance or running costs.
For me it has tax benefits and effectively provides me with a free motor vehicle which I own eventually.
I claim depreciation on the car, writing it off over 5 years, claim all maintenance costs and the interest on the loan.
provided I spend all of the allowance over the year, or more, then I claim a tax refund.
For people like myself who are into cars it is great as I can drive whatever I want.
For those who are not into cars, sad people, they get a cheap, small, economical vehicle which meets their needs.
 

klarie

Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
Aug 23, 2022
Messages
238
Reaction score
689
Location
Rhine - Main Area / Germany
My company just pays a flat monthly car allowance with my pay each month and I have to use it to cover the costs of a suitable car.
This covers finance, registration, taxes, maintenance, insurance, tyres etc.
On top of this they give me a Fleetcard to pay for the cost of fuel.
The guidelines are the vehicle should be 4 door and use no more than 10 litres/100kms.
It should be no more than 10 years old.
These however are only guidelines.
I can also claim back any work related tolls on my monthly expenses or just claim 80% of all my tolls.
A simple and easy system which allows me to choose virtually whichever car I want and I end up owning it.
I had this system in the company I worked before. Fuel Card and a flat leasing rate on top of salary + road tolls and any expenses. To be frank, they never adjusted the rates and any other topic. As of now - I do less than 1000 mls for business purpose a year - in 2019 I had up > 30k on road plus train, plus aircraft. What a wasted time. Now minimize responsibility to employer.
 

DaveB

Veteran Contributor
In Production
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
2,866
Reaction score
5,651
Location
Gold Coast Australia
Had an interesting meeting/interview with Claire last night on a video Google meet with two others from Ineos, @Michael H. from here and another customer from Sydney called Sarah. Not sure if she is on here. Interesting mix as Sarah said it will be her first 4wd, Michael clearly has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and I am somewhere in between.
Focus was really on what we wanted from Ineos after we have received the vehicle.
 

rovie

Active Contributor
In Production
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
556
Reaction score
933
Had an interesting meeting/interview with Claire last night on a video Google meet with two others from Ineos, @Michael H. from here and another customer from Sydney called Sarah. Not sure if she is on here. Interesting mix as Sarah said it will be her first 4wd, Michael clearly has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and I am somewhere in between.
Focus was really on what we wanted from Ineos after we have received the vehicle.
What do you mean by "what we wanted"? In relation to the grenadier or to us as owners?
 

Michael H.

Contributor
Grenadier Ordered
Joined
Jun 11, 2022
Messages
172
Reaction score
409
Location
Mount Annan, Australia
Had an interesting meeting/interview with Claire last night on a video Google meet with two others from Ineos, @Michael H. from here and another customer from Sydney called Sarah. Not sure if she is on here. Interesting mix as Sarah said it will be her first 4wd, Michael clearly has a wealth of experience and knowledge, and I am somewhere in between.
Focus was really on what we wanted from Ineos after we have received the vehicle.
I would say it was a very productive meeting. Claire's team appeared to be genuinely interested in our thoughts and experiences. It’s great that they’re giving thought to how they can support their customers after vehicle handover. We pushed for familiarisation/training days where new customers could receive expert instruction on vehicle features, and a comprehensive range of technical information and how-to guides to be published online, with vehicle experts available to answer questions.
 
Last edited:

rovie

Active Contributor
In Production
Joined
May 19, 2022
Messages
556
Reaction score
933
It would say it was a very productive meeting. Sarah's team appeared to be genuinely interested in our thoughts and experiences. It’s great that they’re giving thought to how they can support their customers after vehicle handover. We pushed for familiarisation/training days where new customers could receive expert instruction on vehicle features, and a comprehensive range of technical information and how-to guides to be published online, with vehicle experts available to answer questions.
I had understood that Sarah was a customer?
 
Top Bottom