Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Cadillac Cool Again

Source:  Michael Edward, Fast Company
Fast Company has an article this month about Cadillac's attempt at reviving the brand and becoming more appealing to young people.  The article describes how Cadillac hired the Fallon advertising agency to develop its current campaigns.  The agency promptly put 28 year old Veda Partalo in charge of remaking Cadillac's image.  Putting someone that young in charge certainly takes guts, but of course, she understands what makes young people tick.  

I found one particular element of her strategy quite interesting.   Partalo describes how she chose not to focus on specific models, but instead tried to emphasize the brand as a whole:   "Sometimes you want to communicate to each buyer based on his individual needs.  But the luxury buyer is different. He's more concerned with the brand's overall background, its heritage. So we wanted to do two things.  First, bring Caddy back to its original standing. Second, do it through a campaign of substance."

In this case, I think the emphasis on the brand, rather than specific models, makes a great deal of sense.  First of all, it's a much more efficient way to spend advertising dollars - no more mini-campaigns for each model.  More importantly, Partalo has to get Cadillac into the consumer's consideration set.   Customers won't examine a particular model if Cadillac isn't even on their radar screen.  Therefore, she has to make them willing to be open to the idea of purchasing a Cadillac.  Once she achieves that, Partalo can sell consumers on the attributes of particular models.   Many firms make this mistake, thinking that they can sell consumers on a great new product without confronting the reality that the brand as a whole may simply not be a viable option at the moment for many individuals.  

1 comment:

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