Luxury cars are ever since a want afforded by affluent families around the world, with prices ranging from seven figures or more. For them, it is a sound investment. After all, most luxury car brands offer cars that have far more horsepower, safety measures (Mercedes Benz continues to manufacture bulletproof vehicles, plain ol’ class and out-of-this-world features.
But with the world economy sliding up and down the graph, and the number of rich and wealthy dwindling down by the decade, these same brands must devise a way to appeal to the other aspects of the market. And where to go but to the holder of the biggest segment of the US population—Generation Y, also called “millennials”?
Why attract millennials, you say? Aside from the fact that they are numerous, millennials are highly susceptible to suggestions especially if it involves improving their careers or own selves. Not to mention the fact that by conquering this marketing segment, you conquer the whole car dealership industry itself.
But the fact remains that millennials do not look at car-buying as a rite of passage towards adulthood anymore. In fact, most of them prefer booking a car on Uber or Grab because it removes the hassle of car ownership, like getting auto insurance and finding a parking space, not to mention the fact that most of them prefer investing on the latest iPhone model than the Subaru Impreza.
If car companies who offer affordable cars still struggle in getting this demographic to purchase one, the burden doubles when it comes to luxury car brands who are in the pricier part of the spectrum. Because of this, the latter exerts additional effort to lure millennials in. Here are five of these brands.
This brand continues to remain in the top spot as the most popular luxury car brand thanks to its effective marketing strategies that target different segments of the population.
Thus, it is not a surprise that they come to eye the millennial segment as well. Deesch Papke, the CEO Porsche Middle East & Africa, said in an interview that people in this demographic rarely shows up in car showrooms—if they want to check out or buy a car, they would go to Google and seek reviews, specs, and other related stuff. By the time they do enter the store, they come in with questions, demands, or immediately test drive the car they are eyeing.
To keep up, Porsche provides intensive training to their sales representatives. Aside from that, they remain in touch with their customers to further enhance their overall experience with the brand.
Another fixture in the luxury automotive industry, MB also knows the fact that millennials do not have the time in the world to go to their store and purchase a car. Thus, they bring their cars to them by employing social media marketing, an online environment where most people from this demographic spend almost all of their time. They partnered with different social media influencers and videographers who would deliver their brand message in a language only millennials can understand.
In short, MB appeals to their intended audience by creating visual content that promises premium experience they can share with the world…and Instagram accounts.
VW also explores the large possibilities of this demographic by researching vigorously on what works for them. Their facility can be found in Silicon Valley, Northern California where other bigwig companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google reside.
Because these tech giants are just a stone throw away, VW partner with them to create vehicles where drivers can integrate their smartphone unit and use their apps even with their hands on the wheel. This recent collaboration with one of these giants, Apple brought, iBeetle to the world, a venture so successful that other car dealerships are following suit.
Now, they are developing new technologies that would enable the vehicle to take selfies and photos of different sceneries even while you drive and another one that would signal you if something is stolen inside your vehicle.
Because the company understands the millennial’s need to document every unique experience they had, Jaguar employed a strategy—or better yet, a tool that would record the test drive they did with one of their cars. It would translate the experience into a two-minute video which the person would receive via email to be shared to his or her social media accounts.
While the strategy barely did much to improve their sales, the Jaguar spokesperson said that it gives them enough exposure in making their brand a household name to this demographic—a long shot, but a good one at that.
Aside from the usual social media marketing (their Facebook page has over 20 million likes), BMW claims and even encourages everyone to embrace unconventional methods of online marketing strategies, like taking a stand on social issues and bringing their brands right where the young people are—even if it means showcasing in rock and roll concerts. Hildegard Wortmann, the senior vice president of BMW, emphasizes that millennials want brands to see them as actual human beings, not as moving, breathing money-making machines. Telling them how to live and what to buy does not work anymore, but letting them know that you share the same ideals as theirs is.
As you notice, millennials value unique experiences and similar ideologies more than the specs, aesthetics, and yes, even the price. By maximizing their need for online glory, car companies can still convince this demographic to have vehicles of their own. But they must make these folks notice them first.