There was a time when the word "Buick" conjured up thoughts of giant, hulking vehicles driven by our grandparents. With cars that were once referred to as "rolling couches" and a reputation for popularity among the over-65 crowd, the Buick brand had a serious marketing problem. Rather than allow the brand to shrivel up and disappear, GM took a different approach. They opted to completely redesign the vehicles, added innovative technology, and re-branded Buicks as the modern, cutting-edge choice for young families and trendsetters. Here's how they did it.
Complete Design Overhaul
While the Buick brand continues its legacy
of "refined luxury," it's ditching the old designs for modern new looks. In 2011 they ceased production of the full-size Lucerne and completely updated the smaller LaCrosse. Since then, they've added seven new models, each designed with a focus on performance and the features that young, hip buyers want.
Their newest model, the Encore compact crossover SUV, has been extremely successful in the United States and in China. In a bold move, they recently announced that beginning this year they're removing the "Buick" badge from all of their cars, opting to simply use their three-shield logo instead.
These vehicles no longer look like "old people cars." They're reliable, the price is right, and the newest generation of buyers don't seem to care about the stigma that used to be associated with the brand. This is largely thanks to the company's long-standing positional marketing campaign.
Modern Positional Marketing - "That's a Buick?!"
If you've watched television recently, this tag line probably sounds familiar. In what can only be described as marketing genius, GM foresaw the coming preference shift from sedans to SUVs, created hot new vehicles to fill the need, and positioned themselves as the hip new player in the space. It also doesn't hurt that they've successfully managed to walk the line between luxury and mainstream.
One of the company's most popular and memorable commercials, titled "Mistaken Identity," comically shows people mistaking one Buick vehicle for another. It successfully targeted the younger crowd, both with its message and with the inclusion of the song "It's Alright," by Brooklyn-based indie-pop duo Matt & Kim.
Buick also ran a Superbowl spot featuring NFL MVP Cam Newton and celebrity supermodel Miranda Kerr. In keeping with its focus on the 29 -45-year-old demographic, they also offered special content previews in the week leading up to the Super Bowl to followers of the brand's social media channels.
Outlook for the Future
A quick look at the numbers reveals that Buick's repositioning has been a big success. Almost 60 percent of new Enclave buyers are coming from owning vehicles outside the GM family. Those who make the switch to the Buick brand are extremely loyal. Almost half of all new Buick buyers come back to trade in their vehicle for another Buick SUV.
The latest wave of Buick buyers tends to be young and professional. Dealers have reported that many are coming in to trade their BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti models for the newest Buicks.
Come See What All the Hype is About
It's time you saw for yourself what all the hype is about! Stop by our Kutztown Buick GMC showroom
and let us show you the lineup of all-new Buick vehicles. You might be surprised by what you see. Once you take a test-drive, you'll understand why so many young people have decided to join the new tribe of devoted Buick owners.