As a marketer in digital, the word ‘personalisation’ might conjure up thoughts of cookies and triggered email.
But what does it mean in luxury automotive for Aston Martin.
Simon Sproule, Director of Global Marketing Communications, gave us the inside track at the Festival of Marketing.
Desirability by numbers
Aston Martin makes 7,000 cars a year, which is equivalent to Ferrari and enough to meet or nearly meet demand. There’s only one robot in the Aston factory (called James Bonder) and the company is still independent.
In the manufacturer’s 102-year history, it has made 80,000 cars, and 95% of these still exist.
Ultra-exclusive volumes are used for ‘halo’ products, such as the Aston Martin Vulcan.
The differences between the luxury market and the mass market
Simon set out the differences between Aston Martin and a mass producer such as Nissan, which can make as many cars in a day as Aston does in a year.
|Luxury Market||Mass Market|
|Detailed and bespoke product specification and ordering process.||‘One click to buy’|
|Service there when you need; anticipate wants and needs.||Self-service; algorithmic purchase suggestions.|
|Collections; caretaking for future generations; provenance.||Disposable; always something new coming along; in-built obsolescence.|
|Direct relationship with the company; access to the CEO||Out-sourced and off-shored customer call centres; online FAQs.|
|Visit the factory/workshop; meet the craftspeople.||Made in [?]; automated mass production.|
|Surprise gifts, social events; previews and exclusive access.||Loyalty schemes – collecting points and coupons; ‘Tier Panic’.|
Aston Martin’s definition of luxury
With the roll out of Salesforce, Aston Martin has been adding CRM strategy to its definition of ‘Omotenashi’ (the Japanese concept of a unique approach to hospitality).
Content-driven storytelling is designed to build on the heritage of the brand, with ownership and history of individual models adding to their prestige and value.
The James Bond partnership is obviously a key source of brand awareness, with the manufacturer exclusively making 10 units of the DB10 for the new movie, destined never to be sold.
Other partnerships include Gant and InterContinental Hotels.
|Luxury Trend||Aston Martin|
|Valued: treated as an individual.||‘Omotenashi’; sophisticated CRM platform; personal touch.|
|Unique products for the very few / me.||Special series vehicles|
|Product personalisation.||Q by Aston Martin; bespoke product specifications.|
|Experiences beyond the product.||Aston Martin Lifestyle; events; access to the company.|
|Affinity relationships across other sector.||Partnerships with complementary hotels, airlines, clothing brands.|
|Desire to know more.||Content-driven storytelling.|
Simon discussed the need for a ‘Goldilocks’ or ‘just right’ strategy, with the following tenets.
- A focus on the right audience, not the largest audience.
- Delivering customers the individual story of their car.
- Creating enough distance to create desirability.
- Being friendly is okay.
If you’re a reader and happen to be an Aston Martin owner (a long shot, I know) do leave a comment and let us know what your personalised service entailed.