In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Toyota like other marketers was facing a challenge generating sales and brand acceptance among the Generation Y or Millennial segment of the population. Toyota sales have been traditionally strong among the baby boomer segment. This group had helped make Toyota the largest car manufacturer in the world. Toyota as a brand grew up with, the Baby Boomer generation. The average buyer age was growing older. Toyota recognized that the Generation Y segment represented a significant opportunity for long-term growth.
Toyota’s designed the Echo, the MR2 and the Celica to appeal to this market. This initiative fell short of expectations. Toyota, however, learned from this experience. They learned that to reach the Generation Y audience in a meaningful way that they would have to do more than package existing products through the existing channels with some hip advertising. Toyota realized that to attract the Millennial segment they needed to create a new car buying and ownership experience that was designed for this group. This would include a new approach to product, process, marketing and the dealer experience. Toyota understood that younger drivers wanted more than an affordable car, they wanted something to express their individuality and fit their lifestyle.
Toyota created a new brand called Scion. The Scion name meant the descendant of a family and refers both to the brand and their owners. Scion’s mission statement is to satisfy a trend setting youthful buyer through distinctive products and an innovative, consumer driven process. Self expression is at the core of Scion’s Brand Identity. The Scion Brand was launched in 2002 with two models at the New York car show. Scion took a whole new approach to the purchase experience through the following innovations:
- “Pure Pricing which means no haggling. The price printed on the sticker is the price you pay for the car. There are no discounts, no factory to dealer incentives, no bonus programs, no cash back, no customer and loyalty bucks. This has in effect taken buyer insecurity out of the purchase process.
- An extensive selection of packages, accessories, aftermarket parts and add-ons to customize and personalize your car through the Optimize Scion program.
- A distinct brand space at Toyota dealerships that designed to promoted the different ways you can customize your car.
- Unique marketing programs like “Motivate” targeting young entrepreneurs in the creative arts community with chances to win a personal business, mentor, $10,000 and a Scion.
Have you driven a Scion?