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Grip : GRIP February 2012
IMPREZA COMMENT GRIP seLLing VaLue, not price By Andrew Caie General Manager Marketing THE small car market is, as we know, busy - very busy - over 27 models in a segment that is now the largest in the country. How do we get the Impreza to stand out from the rest? Without doubt, the first and most important consideration in this market is value. I’m often fascinated by how others judge what value means to consumers in this context. Value seems to be often confused with price and the level of discount needed to get consumers across the line. We believe there is an opportunity to provide a new kind of value for customers because the world has responded to economic change. I would argue “conspicuous” consumption has been replaced by more “conscious” consumption. People have changed the way they save, buy and value everything from the basics to cars and houses. As an example, instead of spending more than two per cent above our means, Australians are now saving more than 11 per cent of our incomes, a colossal turn around. It is now more about what customers can get added into a product - substance, authenticity and the added service, features and benefits - which make the spend count for more. We can either reduce the price point or we can find ways to add value to the package that consumers want. It’s the “premium“ value of our product, the category and our brand combined, that all contribute to create a sales opportunity of what we think will be 700 vehicles every month. The mistake some other brands have made is that they have felt they need to have a “price leader” a rock- bottom, cut-price hook, to get people who might not consider the model to add it to their list in the hope they will be talked up by the dealer in the showroom. That type of marketing has led to nothing more than an accelerated commoditisation of the market’s products and a focus on devaluing specification with less regard for design, styling and the intrinsic benefits of manufacturer’s ingenuity and initiative. That is one thing we do not plan to give up at Subaru. The problem this poses for marketers is “How do we address value without immediately defaulting to the lowest common denominator?” Simply, we must effectively demonstrate the benefits that set our products apart. This is one reason why JD Power is such an important milestone for Subaru. It’s a service, and a valuable addition that other brands can’t offer, but Subaru can. Value for money is simply the perception of what you get, divided by what you pay. It’s not complicated, but Subaru Impreza customer profile We can have fun with it without reducing choice, and that combination is what we plan to use to set it aside in this crowded market. We are positioning Impreza at a price point between the more expensive Golf and above the volume leaders in the market - Corolla, Cruze and Mazda3 - against which we calculate Impreza to have significant spec advantages for comparably little more outlay. And all with the unique combination of Subaru DNA, SAWD, five-star ANCAP, new Boxer engine technology now with outstanding fuel economy and reduced environmental impact. Now, that’s good value! it’s also not about being “cheap”. The consumers who we think Impreza will appeal to are fiercely independent but open minded, street smart and like to form their own opinions. Difference is what sets Impreza apart from the category for these consumers and is what gives us an advantage that enables them to consider this model differently. With this new model we provide the styling, spec and fuel efficiency benefits, but we can also deliver safety and handling benefits that others can’t. INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE FROM THE MD IMPREZA COMMENT SMALL WITH IT ALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE NEW IMPREZA IMPREZA HIGHLIGHTS MARKETING WHAT’S IN THE PRESS TRENDS DEALER RANKINGS
GRIP January 2012
GRIP March 2012