Aptera’s online marketing strategy includes a brand ambassador program that is very on character for the brand, to say the least, as it highlights the very specific cross-section of people who are interested in the company.
Aptera has prided itself on its weird nature from the beginning. It is aiming to manufacture a polarizing-looking car, it is working with an atypical set of suppliers, and to top it off, it is looking to push serious legislative action that would make the Tesla charging connector the new standard for electric vehicles in the United States. With its brand marketing, the company continues its strange nature.
Many brands have employed the use of ambassador programs. They allow the brand to quickly and easily connect itself to a person who they believe best exemplifies its core values. Dodge, in particular, has exemplified this approach, appointing people with the title of “Chief Donut Maker” and paying a series of YouTube personalities to get tattooed with its logo. Aptera has chosen a different approach.
The first difference of note is that Aptera’s brand ambassadors are volunteers, a fact that they advertise at the bottom of each of the spotlights written on their ambassadors. Secondly, the people chosen to represent the brand are fairly normal; they aren’t cartoonishly wealthy YouTubers or movie stars, nor are they incredibly famous. Third and finally, they are fairly hard to find and interact with online, unlike more public brand ambassadors that other brands have chosen to work with.
Among the ranks of the “over 700 global volunteers [that] make up [their] dedicated Brand Ambassador Program” the company has highlighted four on their website thus far; Micheal Brooke, Daniel Ben-Yochannan, Lauren Brimmer, and Shine Quashi. Micheal is a bit of a renaissance man; author, movie producer, and self-described preacher of the gospel of the longboard, Daniel is a vacation property owner in the Caribbean, Lauren is a successful MBA who has worked in a series of startups, and Shine is a recent US immigrant from Ghana who works in finance for startup businesses.
It is clear that Aptera is once again finding its own way through the auto industry, but it remains unclear if this marketing appeal has been successful or even if people, outside of Aptera fans, are building any kind of confidence in the brand. With so many people now seeing EV start-ups appear and disappear so quickly over the past 5-10 years, Aptera has a mountain to climb to build consumer confidence in them because it doesn’t matter how efficient the advertised car is if it never hits the public roads.
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