The automobile industry has undergone drastic changes in order to keep up with consumer preferences. Gone are the days when purchasing an automobile constituted a life milestone. The percentage of US citizens who have a driver’s license is decreasing (according to the US Department of Transportation) as public transportation improves and driving loses in popularity.
In this changing market, how can auto brands appeal to the Millennial consumer? Millennials are the cheapest generation, a result of coming into the work force during the recession. This has led to a decrease in the popularity of many luxury brands and items as consumers started preferring more budget-friendly options. There is a fear among automotive brands that the decrease in car sales that started in the recession, will be permanent. This fear has inspired brands to step up and think outside the box to appeal to Millennials.
Hot tweetaway: How can #car brands appeal to the #Millennial consumer? insit.es/1zFZhsq by @GilaAllswang via @CoolBrands #GenY #coolbrands
Fewer Millennials are going to car dealerships for test drives as they are not interested in purchasing a car. This is a big obstacle for brands introducing new cars. If Millennials do not know how smoothly a car drives, then they may not ever be incentivized to purchase it. In order to overcome this challenge, brands have become creative in increasing the appeal of test drives.
Volkswagen created #PoloTag, a game that worked through a mobile app. Players who spotted the designated Volkswagen vehicle on the road were to tag it on Twitter with #PoloTag; by doing so they won a chance to test-drive the car themselves. The player who could then drive it around for the longest without being tagged, would win the car. This game created a 243% increase in test drives and generated PR for Volkswagen.
Land Rover is also working hard to increase their number of test drives. Their showrooms feature digital simulations that allow customers to virtually design their own car and experience the drive. These stimulations enhanced the consumer relationships with the brand and allowed the possible buyers to spend time in the showrooms without feeling pressured into buying a car. By giving the consumers valuable exposure to their brand, Land Rover managed to stay afloat in a market where many luxury car brands failed.
The aforementioned brands have utilized Millennial trends in order to increase their sales. Volkswagen’s gamification and incentive system proved to be an effective method to get Millennials behind the wheel of their car. Millennials love using their mobile devices and interact with brands in such a personal manner. and Land Rover utilized the Millennials’ love of digital experiences to deepen their relationship with their customers.
It can be suggested that the automobile industry is simply trying too hard to attract Millennials. If they are not interested in purchasing cars, why put in the effort? The answer is that Millennials are simply too large a group to ignore. Even if they are not purchasing the car themselves, they might just influence what cars their parents are buying and they may eventually start seeking for a car themselves. The future of the automobile industry is still unknown but it is clear that Millennials will play a large role in shaping it.
Hot tweetaway: Is the #automobile industry trying too hard to attract #Millennials? insit.es/1zFZhsq by @GilaAllswang via @CoolBrands #GenY