Commentary

Rivian Is Still Somewhat Of A Secret. It Won't Last Long

It’s not every day you start a car company, and Rivian’s creative director is reveling in the “moment of being as small as we are for as long as we can.”

The brand, billed as the world’s first electric adventure vehicle, came into existence nine years ago and Larry Parker has been with it for half that time. Interviewed at MediaPost’s Marketing:Automotive conference on Wednesday, he said the brand and marketing team is growing fast now. Events, such as the New York Auto Show, are the key outlets for awareness building.

Due out in 2020, the SUV and truck models are currently at the preorder stage. “The response from launch at the LA show was more than we expected. Rihanna was at the party. It’s like talking to a queen.

“We’ve been so quiet for so long, it was hard to imagine what would happen. We’re doing auto events like this. Also lifestyle events, heading to Overland Expo. We’re working with brands that share alignment with us to get specialized gifts to our preorder community.

“Friday night at Manhattan Car Club, we had a Rivian preorder event, and we had to double capacity, we did two events. Filled up in like an hour. Everyone was super stoked. A lot of people are looking for something new, to be involved at a different level at an organization. Our booth [at the New York Auto Show] is staffed with our engineers. For us, it’s one on one communication.”

Company execs take numerous research trips to locations like Costa Rica, from which Parker has just returned. “We have a responsibility to the environment, a strong connection to outdoor world and people’s passion for it.

Rivian works with brand partners Alex Honnold, who won an Oscar after free-soloing El Capitan, and Ben Moon, an outdoor photographer. Parker will be with them in Puerto Rico on April 18 to do work on the Honnold Foundation.

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