Michelin and Marketing

The Michelin Guide first made an appearance in 1900 with the primary goal being to boost the demand for cars and, accordingly, car tires. With fewer than 3,000 cars on the roads in France, the Michelin brothers published the guide for French motorists.

In the most basic terms the Michelin Guide was a marketing campaign created by the Michelin company.

“Use our guide to France, and when you need tires…we’ll be here waiting for you.”

Here we are over 100 years later and most people are familiar with the Michelin Star rating system. Chefs and restaurants from around the world are obsessed with collecting stars. People travel all over the world to visit restaurants who have earned 1, 2, or 3 Michelin Stars.

Most people you talk either know of the Michelin rating system or at the very least they’ve heard of the Michelin tire company.

Michelin has staying power. At one point they seemed to have brilliant marketing campaigns. Even if they don’t have those brilliant marketing campaigns now, their name is so well known and recognized that marketing isn’t nearly as important as it may be for another tire company.

I can only hope that even one piece of work I create over the next 60+ years has even half of the staying power of something like the Michelin Guide.