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Mark Ritson’s last column took issue with Aston Martin’s strategy in launching the AM Cygnet and praised Ferrari’s approach to brand extensions. The column fired up a vigorous debate. Read the original story at www.mwlinks.co.uk/MarkRitsonCygnet as well as readers’ comments and Mark’s response to those who disagreed with him

Aston Martin had to do this due to government regulation – it had no choice. However, Aston Martin could have adopted another brand and assigned it to this vehicle. Why use the Aston Martin brand?

However, Mark Ritson seems to mislead and has the view that Ferrari’s “brand extensions” are a good thing. It may sell millions of products by emblazoning its logo on a range of fairly cheap and “tacky” accessories, but Ferrari is gradually damaging its brand in the process. Ferrari has a long and distinguished pedigree and builds great cars, so why dilute the brand and associate itself with “cheap crap”?
At least Porsche accessories under the Porsche Design brand are well designed and are produced by quality manufacturers. It seems Ferrari executives have spent too long in Blackpool. A real shame.
Anonymous

Aston Martin has a huge loyal following, including the many would-be 007s out there and while I agree with the article I think the brand is too strong to be damaged by a strategy set up to ensure it’s continuation. Yes, it’s diverse but less so than having a chain of shops selling tacky overpriced branded goods. Had Aston Martin taken this route it really would have devalued the brand.
Frances McKenzie

Ritson writes from a position of having not noted the economic reality and lacking the customer insight to recognise cars like Aston Martin’s Cygnet and the Toyota iQ represent the future for the global car market: compact, economical, cars with low CO2 emissions that retain the luxury driving experience and branding everyone has got to love in less frugal times.
Mark Benton, iQ brand manager

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