A few years back, my business partner Peter and I flew into Atlanta, on our way to pay homage to the purest celebration of the game of golf: The Masters. A generous friend had gifted us tickets to the tournament and a hotel room, so all we needed was to book a rental car.
Being a natural value shopper (some might even say “cheap”) I found a small car at a great price with a rental car company that I’d never heard of —Sixt. I booked through Expedia with no promise of make or model.
So imagine our surprise when we discovered a sweet little BMW 3-series with our name on it. As we accelerated through the winding turns into the Georgia countryside, we thought, who is this company? How can they rent us such a great car at such a reasonable price? Also … just how fast can this Beemer go?
During a more recent trip abroad, we came across a large Sixt installation in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, where the brand spoke loudly and with confidence. I started to research Sixt, learning that the German brand is the fifth largest rental car company in the world, largely due to their prominence in Europe. So, why did we have to work so hard to discover them in North America?
Given our amazing personal experience with the brand, we felt Sixt just has not created the level of experience, joy and loyalty in the United States that they could. Cracking the code with American travelers, who are tethered to brands via rewards programs, corporate contracts and familiar brand experiences, can be daunting. But our minds were alive, thinking of all the opportunities Sixt might have to create greater momentum in the States.
Of course, these are exactly the types of brand challenges we love to dig into. It made us wonder, what other brands are trying to make their mark in the regionally diverse U.S. markets?
We don’t know what we don’t know.
And this is the very type of opportunity that has us excited about building Sockeye’s business in Europe and opening our new office in Amsterdam.
As for our initial journey, the Masters was amazing, pimento sandwiches are interesting, but it was our experience with Sixt that was the unexpected icing on the cake.S
So if you’re reading this Sixt, call us. We’d love to go for a drive.