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Marketing a New Brand of Car

Not Your Parent's Car

Ten years ago, Toyota decided it needed a way to entice the younger, generation Y age group into considering their products. Instead of creating a small, zany, and more affordable Toyota product, they instead created an offshoot brand to attract this younger group of customers. This unique business move gave the next generation something they could call their own, as in "not their parent's car". The success of Scion cars is due to a great product, but more importantly, to creative marketing, pop culture and quirky image.

Generation Y Sales

Marketing to a very specific age group involves looking very closely at the age group to figure out what they value, what interests them, and what they are most likely to purchase. The age group referred to as Generation Y, or the Millennials, are typically described as those who were born anywhere from the 1980's to the year 2,000. Ten years ago, when the company introduced its first car, the eldest in this age group were only in their 30's. Most would have been out of college and settled into a career, just beginning to feel entitled to nicer things. Add to this the fact that this age group is incredibly tech savvy and the marketing plan gets even more involved. Because this age group has such a high level of access to technology and information, they read, research, and use social media to check out products and services before making any major purchase. They look for information about how a product will benefit them personally, instead of looking only at the shiny wrapping of advertising. Online purchases are no problem for this internet savvy group, and they tend to look for websites that are quick and easy to use. This Generation Y group is also very willing to share information with friends, be it good or bad information. This means that they take notice of great companies and services and share the information with their circle of friends, which in the world of the internet is ever expanding.

How the Scion fits Generation Y

In marketing the Scion specifically to this age group, Toyota used a number of unique tools to attract attention. First, in knowing that this age group was just beginning to feel entitled to nicer things, their cars were promoted on a "you build it" platform. In giving customers the ability to easily choose features for their car, the manufacturer was, in essence, letting the customer choose the features that they felt they deserved. This marketing technique is somewhat like hanging a carrot in front of a cart horse. Once the horse notices that carrot, he may be willing to walk miles trying to get a bite of it. Consumers interested in this brand of car would tend to choose more upgraded features simply because they like the look they provide. With the group's access to the internet in a multitude of forms, a unique, easy purchase was a must. Allowing the customer the ability to plan and purchase through the website, having clear cut prices, and available add on options was a move that had not been made before in the car industry. No longer would car shoppers have to go to a physical location and endure a sales presentation that resulted in a lengthy banter over prices. Instead, they would be able to shop 100% online if they chose to. This pointed marketing strategy, added to the unique product introduced ten years ago has worked to create a product that Generation Y has made successful, not only through their purchases, but also with their wiliness to share purchase and satisfaction experiences relating to their new vehicles via social media networks.

The Scion Difference

Beyond the masterful marketing, what features have made this brand so successful? These high-quality affordable cars offer plenty of passenger and cargo room, have a small footprint that is beneficial to young urban residents, and have a funky style that sets the automobiles apart from the cars of the previous generation. Add to this great gas mileage and the ability to easily customize and upgrade and you have the recipe for a successful offshoot company tailored specifically for an age group that is ready to spend their newly earned money on things they deserve.

Related news: Toyota wants improved crash scores with midcycle facelifts

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