Shell, which was named most valuable British brand on this year’s Brand Finance Top 50 list list, has developed its latest high-tech fuel Shell V-Power Nitro+ in partnership with the sports car brand and is introducing it to its 1,100 forecourts this month.
The brand will launch a radio advertising campaign to promote the new fuel as well as promoting it through its 3 million strong Drivers Club loyalty scheme to encourage trial. A PR campaign is being fronted by F1 TV presenter Jake Humphrey.
The activity comes as the supermarkets continue to vie for customers by slashing prices at the pump. Sainsbury’s is currently running press ads to highlight its deal offering customers who spend £60 or more in store 10p off per litre of fuel until Tuesday (30 April). Last week Asda, Morrisons Tesco and Sainsbury’s cut 2p per litre on fuel prices.
Shell’s V-Power Nitro+ costs 8p more per litre than standard grade fuel.
Marcus Sheldon, Shell Retail marketing director, says: “[Being seen as premium] is really important for us – most of our customers come to us because of our premium fuel – it’s our differentiator.
“The fuel is designed to act instantly in the engine and do a clean up job – if you imagine your car being cleaned on the outside, this does it on the engine to give you cleaner engine and better performance.”
As part of its efforts to enhance its premium positioning, Shell is rolling out trained forecourt attendants to more of its stores in the UK as it offers a “halo” effect for the perception of the brand.
Shell reintroduced attendants – last seen in the UK in the 70s and originating in the US in the 1950s – last year and now offers the service at 400 petrol stations. It will be rolled out to further forecourts this year.
“No one else offers it and the response from customers has been amazing. [They] help explain the fuels, help with refuelling, checking oil and generally offering that extra service on the forecourt.
“It’s a very competitive and dynamic and market my role is about making the whole customer experience even better with fuel, products and our shops – that’s why we invest in things like attendants.”
Shell knocked Vodafone from the top spot of the Brand Finance list for the first time in three years as its value increased 35 per cent to £19.5bn in 2012.