What comes to mind when you hear the word “Buick?” You probably think of the classy, luxurious cars that have been the staple of one of GM’s oldest brands. Over the years, Buick has been losing customers to this expansive reputation. Despite this decline, Buick is not giving up. The company faces the daunting task of re-inventing itself to appeal to a younger generation. Read on to learn just how Buick is going to do this.
Buick has captured this vision of reinvention in its new model, the Encore. This compact, crossover SUV stands in stark contrast to the old “living room on wheels.”
How is the Encore putting Buick back on the map? While maintaining the luxury that Buick has always achieved, the Encore provides the kind of appearance, cargo space, and specs that many buyers are looking for in today’s market. Buick hasn’t spared any expense on the Encore, from excellent safety features to state-of-the art technology, including dual-zoned climate control and even a WiFi hotspot.
The Encore lives up to its name. The vehicle captures Buick’s drive to start fresh and reinvent itself.
The Encore isn’t Buick’s only succesful project. In 2012, the Verano, a luxury sedan, attracted 50 percent more buyers from outside of GM than any other Buick. Why? Because the Verano, like the Encore, has been tailored to attract younger customers. Buick’s Vice President of Marketing, Tony DiSalle, remarked how in 2007, the average age of a Buick customer was 64. With the introduction of the Verano in 2012, that average dropped to 57. DiSalle also expressed how, while the percentage of customers under 29 is still under 10 percent, it’s on a significant rise.
According to DiSalle, customer perception changes as they see new products on the road. Buick is addressing this by producing vehicles that are much more visually aesthetic, and it’s working. In 2012, 53 percent of Buick customers said that the style and appearance of the vehicle was the main reason they purchased the vehicle.
It isn’t easy to redefine mentality and familiarity, but Buick is taking the issue head-on with its advertising campaigns. In Buick’s case, the brand isn’t focusing on battling against every other car brand out there; instead, it’s at war with itself. In its ad campaigns over the past several years, the ads have focused on acknowledging the very elements their brand is attempting to change.
For example, one ad campaign centers on the unexpected and ends with the Verano, the new vehicle breaking the expectations associated with Buick. All of the characters in the ad are young, priming viewers to associate this vehicle with a younger customer base.
These advertising campaigns allow Buick to address the misconceptions and reputation surrounding them. Nice new cars and a new approach to audience will only go so far without the advertising to make consumers aware.
The restyling of Buick is heading in the right direction, and only time will tell if it wins the war against itself.