Innovation That Matters

Dutch automobile association touring France in shop on wheels

Travel & Tourism

While national automobile associations have been branching out into other areas—from credit cards to car rental—the primary reason drivers sign up is for emergency roadside assistance. Building on that “there when you need us” sentiment, ANWB, the Dutch motorists association, has launched a mobile store that will tour France* this summer. The ANWB’s store on wheels will stop at campgrounds across France, selling tourists items they forgot to pack, from toothbrushes and sunblock to its own maps and travel guides. On July 10th, the association will sell its wares from rest stops along the Autoroute du Soleil, where it will be joined by motor care teams who’ll check tire pressure, give traffic updates and clean car windows and mirrors. The ANWB will also treat drivers to a massage while sitters entertain their children. (This might seem excessive, but the Autoroute du Soleil is the main motorway from the north to the south of France, and is so choked with traffic on heavy travel dates that July 10th is dubbed Black Saturday.) Last but not least, when drivers have finally reached their destination, the ANWB’s ‘Helping Hands’ will pitch tents, fill jerry cans and even dry dishes. All of which makes for a prime example of what our sister-site calls brand butlers. As puts it, “serving is the new selling”, and by following its members and assisting them when and where they need it most, the ANWB builds a stronger relationship with its customers and highlights the diversity of its offerings. (Related: Light therapy for weary travellersMethod’s mobile laundry truck facilitates clothing donations.) Spotted by: Ruben van Rhijn * Not only has France long been the number one holiday destination for Dutch tourists, last year 87.8% drove there from Holland, making it a prime marketing location for the ANWB.



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