Lilium Goes Institutional and Aspirational

Lilium has done its marketing homework. They seem to be using a lot of marketing skills to move a potentially revolutionary product most of us have no chance of ever owning.

Selling Lilium’s Benefits

What makes us want things?  What floats our boats?  What makes us stop in our tracks and look in a store window?  What drags people out of their beds at midnight to stand in line for the Blu Ray of the latest Harry Potter film?

Writing technical documentation first for an electronics firm and then for a major engineering design/build company, your editor helped create many proposals, inserting relevant technical data into promotional material and proposals.  Working with one particularly successful marketing manager, your editor learned an important lesson: sell the benefits – not the features of the product or service you are providing.

Technically-minded types usually like to bask in the features of a product – how many horsepower, how much torque, refresh rates, etc.  For most consumers, though, such things are not as interesting as how those features will make his or her life better.  Lilium seems to have caught on to this, and does a respectable job presenting why people might want to take a ride in their machine.  They use a few well-defined points that present what for most people will be compelling reasons.

In their video, the company promotes the time-saving nature of their machine, enabling one to spend more time with one’s family, for instance.  This appeal to traditional values is a well-recognized emotional pull often used to sell products.

Lilium dropping in at a London landing site, a simple platform with welcoming passenger accommodations

Lilium enlists its features, though, to provide reassurance about its product’s safety.  “The emissions-free aircraft, which will be able to complete journeys of up to 300 km in one hour on a single charge, has now been flown at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, in increasingly complex maneuvers.”  The video includes words that even failures have led to improvements and greater safety.

Images are not much about the high-tech vehicle, but of nature and people communing therein.  A soft female voice tells all.  It’s a good, and soothing idealization of what flight in a Lilium may promise.

Getting Real

Lilium is working hard to roll out its machines and implement its minimalist infrastructure.  Speaking of its new production facilities in southern Germany, Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “Our ambition is to develop a world-class production facility here that will allow us to build critical parts ourselves and then deliver fully-assembled aircraft at the scale of the automotive sector but at the extremely high quality levels required in the aerospace sector.

“Having considered many locations to produce our first Lilium Jets, we felt our location in the heart of Europe was best suited to our needs, given the strength of the local aerospace supply chain.

Lilium engineers working on the machine. Note the modular nature of construction

“Having our production facility co-locate with our headquarters also makes sense at this point in our development, allowing us to maintain the rapid pace at which we are developing the Lilium Jet, from innovation through to engineering and manufacturing.”

Today, Lilium employs more than 350 people at its base in Munich, with more than 150 roles currently available across a range of disciplines. The new production facilities are expected to create up to 500 new jobs between now and 2025.

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