March 2014… Markus Lafrentz and I are sitting together for coffee in his office. That is behind us twist with VOX auto mobil, our discussions revolve around the usual topic. At some point, the sentence that will cause change.
“What NEVS delivers is not enough for me,” I say. The realization results from the experience of working with the Swedes, before and during the shoot. Without wanting to go into details, but from this point on, the “saabblog.net” project is on the test bench.
Saab & Volvo on the blog?
I like to write, but I'm bad at writing about things that could have been! I'm interested in the future, I'm curious and hungry for what's to come ... not for what might have been. The other Swedish brand is renewing its product range, an exciting story, it has what Saab doesn't have: new cars! The first idea was to write about Volvo in addition to Saab. Because both brands come from Västragötland, because there are more things in common than you might think. What could have been a good idea at first glance, was discovered after a consequence analysis (for the time being) discarded.
Among the winners of the idea would have been the Saab blog, which would have addressed a wider audience and had found its way out of the small Saab niche. Volvo Germany would have made me out of pure enthusiasm a brand new Volvo in front of the door (only a guess). Volvo would have been present in one fell swoop on a heavily frequented platform with several thousand readers, all potential new customers. That would have the corks pop in Cologne.
You do not play with blogs!
But if you look more closely, then the brand Saab would have been the weaker part and the loser in the medium term. The blog is a hobby for us, but not a toy. At the same time, it is an economic factor that must be managed with responsibility. Some dedicated Saab partners (why so few?) have recognized the opportunities and reach of the blog, they support us and repeatedly provide raw material for reporting.
For them, the proximity to the blog pays off. Their names are mentioned, they show presence as a company, which keep the brand flag in the wind. They stand behind the products, are committed to the customers and benefit from the cooperation. Their order books are better filled than those of their colleagues, the customers accept long journeys, the vehicles for sale have shorter service lives. The likelihood that the Volvo reports would dominate the blog in no time was high. Not a good idea !
The reader structure changes
While the Volvo idea wandered into storage, I was still looking for a solution, changed in recent months, the reader structure. Germany, Switzerland and Austria have always been on the squares 1 to 3. For more than three years, the Dutch claimed rank 4, followed by Little Luxembourg.
In the meantime, the Dutch have given their fourth place to readers from the USA and share fifth place with Swedes and the British, who will probably soon push our Dutch friends down to sixth or seventh place. For years, readers from the Anglo-Saxon language area were hardly relevant, and the Scandinavians hardly played a role either. Swedes and Norwegians are also on the rise, things are changing. You just have to look. For saabblog.net the future was clear because it is made by our readers.
The Saab Blog starts into a new era after 43 months! The blog will be bilingual in the coming days, more cosmopolitan, more Swedish. What a daring experiment and perhaps an imposition might be for the one or the other reader.
Saabblog.net in english.
The main language remains unchanged, the blog has its roots in the German-speaking world. English-language articles will appear regularly in the future, important “breaking news” will be published in both languages. The articles come from our new editorial office in Stockholm, and it closes a big gap.
A big wish of mine has always been to make the blog “Swedish”. Saab is Sweden, the philosophy of the brand is strongly influenced by its origin. Now we are bringing a substantial portion of Sweden to the blog with author Michèl Annink, moving a little more north - to Saab's home.
Michèl rides the first approved in Sweden Saab 9-5 NG sportswear, a Saab 9-4x, and other vehicles from Trollhättan are in his garage. He is a Saab fan with a big heart through and through. His reports, his Swedish view of things, which will be different from my southern German perspective, will enrich the blog. I look forward to the future!
With Yves in Switzerland, Michèl in Sweden, Mark and me, our team has now grown to 4 authors and one editor. In the future, the responsibility will be distributed over more shoulders, which is good. Should there ever be better times in Trollhättan, we will be closer than before.
Saabblog.net = pure Saab.
In the future, I hope there will be a little less "paperwork" and time for other things related to Saab and the blog.
We stay online, “pulling the plug” has never been a serious option, and we're also more Saab than ever. What comes in addition to bilingualism are new projects, including a closer collaboration with Orio Deutschland GmbH, which will shortly publish the new edition of “Saab Inside”.
In the future, we won't just write about Saab. We will give Saab young and old timers more presence. And also, no fun, giving away a real Saab. This is a topic for the coming winter and 2015, which will be an exciting story. Our promise to the readers and fans: ”Pure Saab” - nothing else comes on the blog!