In a world first, Fiat Brazil opened up their entire car production process to the public – from conception and design to execution, allowing consumers to be involved with the project by submitting ideas for what they wanted in a car. The Fiat design team would then build the car based on the ideas. By allowing consumers to collaborate with the brand, not only have they produced a car that people would like to own, they have actively engaged in meaningful conversations with their consumers and continue to do so.
In late 2010, the first concept of the Mio was unveiled at the Sao Paulo motor show, showcasing the work of everyone who was involved in the project. It is uncertain whether Fiat will eventually produce the car, but as a branding and information gathering exercise, this his worked immensely well. Fiat can hear first hand what consumers are looking for in a car, while allowing them to feel that they can be a real part of the Fiat brand.
“A good designer tries to realise the wishes of everyone, and with this concept car we were truly working on everybody’s behalf. The group of designers working in the Fiat Mio house were totally open. There was transparency about every decision, which were all communicated online and commented on. This is completely different to the usual design process, which is entirely hidden and secretive.” Peter Fassbender, manager of Fiat’s Centro Estilo and responsible for the brand’s design in Brazil
As of September 2011, the Fiat Mio website had received over 2 million visitors, with nearly 50 000 comments posted and over 10 000 ideas submitted from 160 different countries. These levels of engagement are unprecedented in the automotive world and show just how much people would like to be involved with brands and product development.
“The most important output for the brand was learning the benefits of listening to their consumers. The creatives at Fiat and in the agency didn’t have control of the process, but things are richer because of the passionate contributions.” Agencia Click’s Creative VP, Raphael Vasconcellos de Oliveira