Monday, 7 October 2013

The Scion Story

At the turn of the 21st century, Toyota decided to launch Project Genesis.  Project Genesis remains an ongoing effort to attract younger car buyers in the United States to Toyota. Initially, Project Genesis experienced a few hiccups.  A number of Toyota economy cars were launched unsuccessfully.  In response, Toyota launched Project Exodus with a new brand, a new logo, and a fresh approach.  This monumental marketing effort to attract a younger generation of drivers to Toyota resulted in a new brand name, Scion.  Instead of focusing purely on economy, Scion focused on innovation, creativity, and fun.  After all, why wouldn’t a younger generation of drivers and car buyers want to invest in something that is a cutting-edge and fun to drive?  Instead of only focusing on limited budgets, Scions focus on representing the generation of drivers behind the wheel.  Scions are hip, cool, and have an urban flair.  To date, there are a number of different models of Scions including the Scion tc, xA, and xB among others.


Brand for Younger Car Buyers or Experimental Marketing Technique?

Creating a small line of personal vehicles to appeal to a specific market segment is a unique approach to marketing for a number of reasons.  The vehicles do not have the Toyota brand name or symbol, and they have a distinctively different persona from common associations with Toyota.  One might assume that Scions are not intended to create loyal Toyota customers.  However, this innovative marketing technique is a key part of the vision and inspiration behind an entire decade of Scions.

Scions Target a Niche Market of Young Professionals for About a Decade

After a few unsuccessful attempts to market the new concept under the brand name Toyota, Scions were first introduced in March of 2002 at the New York Auto Show with two meager concept vehicles.  The ccx was later known as the Scion tc and the bbx was later known as the xB.  These two humble concepts proceeded to sweep the nation over the following 10 years.  The marketing experiment by Toyota quickly took on a life of its own.

What Does the Future of Scions Look Like?

The highly successful experimental marketing technique is slowly sweeping the nation. Toyota has been launching numerous outreach efforts and PR initiatives to promote Scions in the United States as well as Toyota-brand vehicles across the globe. Scion is in the process of creating a community of artists, inventive thinkers, and innovative individuals to characterize the brand. After all, the beauty of the brand’s persona literally lies in mimicking what a cost-effective and innovative personal vehicle would look like for an entire generation of individuals.  In many ways, the drivers that represent Scions best represent the meaning behind the brand.  It is easy to say that a personal vehicle is “innovative,” but Scions are in the process of branding a personality that can only be embodied by genuine human creativity.

Predictions for the Future of the Brand and Toyota

There are many different possibilities and directions in which Scions can go.  However, below is a list of some future predictions for what will happen with Toyota’s brainchild and marketing experiment:

  • Increased social media influence
  • Increased number of extra standard features on newer models of Scions 
  • Increased marketing and outreach efforts by Toyota
  • Increased awareness of the power of the individual when marketing

Takeaway Lessons from the Case Study

Automakers and other manufactures can easily introduce a less expensive product.  However, the more effective marketing method was to get in touch with the demographic of young car buyers on a deeper level than their average annual incomes.  In case there is any confusion, Scions remain some of the most cost-effective new vehicles on the market when compared to similar personal automotive brands. 

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