When Lambo? ‘When Hell Freezes Over’, Says Lamborghini
Having been tarnished with the “When Lambo” meme from the bristling edges of the crassest underbelly of the crypto community fringe, Lamborghini is desperate to disassociate its brand from crypto. Sales figures for the Italian sports car giant have benefitted from newly created crypto millionaires, but the company wants nothing to do with them.
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When Lambo? “When Hell Freezes Over”, Says Lamborghini
The carmaker has become virtually synonymous with new crypto-generated money, which peaked in price at the end of 2017. The parade of Lamborghinis that marked the presence of the Consensus Conference in New York City in May last year bore witness to the crypto craze for, and association with, the brand.
Susan Cantor, CEO of the Red Peak branding agency says:
“Historically, Lamborghinis have always stood for new money. It’s been a symbol for excess and unreasonable wealth, because nobody needs a Lamborghini.”
She might be right. Despite the company’s rise in sales probably being associated with new crypto wealth, the brand has always been associated with conspicuous consumption. And that has always been off-putting.
Sales May Be Off The Charts But Crypto-Association Risks Are High
Lamborghini recently announced a 51 percent year-on-year sales surge for 2018, the eighth consecutive year of sales growth. This puts sales numbers at three times 2010 levels. Stefano Domenicali, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automobili Lamborghini said:
“In 2018, Lamborghini entered new dimensions. We delivered not only another sales increase, but reached substantially new levels in surpassing by far the magic mark of 5,000 Lamborghinis sold. This quantum leap proves the sustainability of our product and commercial strategy.”
But the company wants nothing to do with newly minted crypto millionaires. Domenicali told CNBC in May last year that the association between cryptocurrencies and his company was little more than a demographic accident:
“I see the parallel between young people that are really willing to become very rich with a very high-risk investment with the fact that our customers are very young.”
Red Peak’s Cantor agreed that the association with a particular — in this case undesirable — socioeconomic class can harm a brand’s image in the long run. And that harm can be very difficult to undo:
“When brands that are specifically associated with individuals because of socio economic status there’s a risk to that. Lamborghini should stick to its promise or essence, which is about performance.”
At current crypto prices, the actual answer to “When Lambo” is “a long way away”. And Lamborghini wouldn’t have it differently. Like an affluent Los Angeles suburb cringes at the thought of having crass children of corrupt dictators as neighbors, Lamborghini will be better served in the long run to avoid, to the best of its ability, its unfortunate association with the brash underbelly of crypto.
Have your say. Does the meme When Lambo irritate you as much as it does Lamborghini?
Images via Pixabay