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Why Did Michelin Tyres Found the Michelin Guide, a Foodie Guide that is Totally Unrelated to its Business?

Even if you are not a foodie, you would have heard of the Michelin Guide, a ultimate badge of honor for culinary excellence. However, do you know the Michelin Guide was initially started by Michelin Tyres as a marketing tactic to sell more tyres?

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Reed Tan

Chief Strategist

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October 9, 2021

Even if you are not a foodie, you would have heard of the Michelin Guide, a ultimate badge of honor for culinary excellence.

However, do you know the Michelin Guide was initially started by Michelin Tyres as a marketing tactic to sell more tyres?

You might wonder, what does selling tyres got to do with culinary reviews?

Creating Consumer Needs

Believe it or not, the first Michelin Guide was published in 1900 by Michelin Tire founders, French industrialist Andre Michelin and his brother Edouard Michelin.

At the moment of time, driving was a luxury indulgence. In 1895, there were only 350 cars in France.

People had to be convinced that a car was useful. No one wanted to drive unless they had a strong purpose.

And that meant less sales for Michelin Tyres.

The Michelin brothers believed that Michelin Guide could generate business sales for Michelin Tyres.

By recommending top restaurants and hotels, it created a purpose for their products, encouraging consumers to drive more.

The guide also delivered useful information for drivers, ranging from tyre changing instructions and locations to buy gasoline.

It was a hit and perhaps one of the earliest and successful implementations of content marketing.

With content marketing, Michelin promoted the car as a way of life.

What do you think? What are your favorite brands that provide great content as well? Do share with us in the comment section below.

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