All businesses need to be attentive to new opportunities and new markets as they expand. When Lexus examined the luxury market in 2014 three major factors with direct impact on the bottom line were identified: the increase in women buyers of luxury products, multi-cultural segments achieving high levels of affluence, and the growing size of the millennial market. Several key statistics made it imperative that Lexus address these target audiences:
- Women represent 41% of luxury car buyers in the US (2016)
- Women influence 85% of car purchases
- Women are growing in affluence and are the main or sole breadwinner in 40% of households
- Multi-cultural segments are increasing in size and affluence; in the US, African Americans spend roughly $1.2 trillion per year and Asian Americans $825 billion per year (2016)
- Millennials represent 65 million buyers and influence their parents’ car purchases
- Millennials are choosing to lease over buy, and Lexus is one of their top 3 choices in luxury cars
A statistic that could not be ignored: more than 90% of people bringing their cars in for Lexus servicing are women. Those women need to feel welcomed and appreciated.
Addressing these markets and acknowledging the need to better provide individualized customer experiences, Lexus developed an initiative called the Lexus Difference, in partnership with Fraser Communications.
Starting at the corporate level and executed locally by dedicated employees, the Lexus Difference helps evolve the overall guest experience. Relationship building is the primary focus, both inside and outside the dealership. While the initiative is largely designed with the aforementioned demographics in mind, Lexus Difference programs enhance the customer experience for all guests and build strong ties to the community. It ensures customers are given individualized treatment and made to feel like guests welcomed into a home. In addition to providing customized education and training for its associates, Lexus created a digital resource center with success stories for peer to peer collaboration and learning, engaged experts for a Speaker Series addressing these audiences and communication topics like Body Language. Corporate relationships with luxury brand Kiehl’s allows dealerships to supply spa like soaps and lotions in guest lounges and @aroma provides Lexus Signature scents for sensory immersion akin to what we experience at the W Hotel or the Four Seasons. All of these elements strive to turn a potentially daunting experience for many into an appealing destination, particularly for women and millennials.
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WPO would like to thank Peggy Turner, Vice President Lexus Customer Services, and Lexus for providing this week’s sponsor blog content.