Infiniti Targets Different Kind Of Luxury Customer

Infiniti is taking a different approach in targeting luxury customers than its competitors.

In the second part of an extended interview, Phil York, Infiniti’s senior director of global marketing and brand, discusses how the brand has changed up its marketing. The first half can be found here.

Q: Who is Infiniti’s target customer?
: We’ve got a lot of research into our customer target and the attitude that they have toward life. We describe them internally as the progressive challenger, and have a clear description of their mindset. Our target is self-driven and entrepreneurial. This is a person who pursues their own path, knows what they want and is motivated to achieve that.  

Our target also is open-minded. These are people who are confident in themselves and confident to carve out their own path, rather than conforming to an image that might be associated with a particular vehicle, sector or product. They are much more likely to want to express their own personality and stand apart from the crowd a bit.

That reflects Infiniti as well. We’re not the mainstream luxury brand, but we’re definitely a challenger -- and that’s something this target group will identify with. 

Lastly, our customers are forward-looking. This can apply to a number of things like technology, social consciousness or environmental responsibility. These are people who are looking at the world through a realistic lens, but are optimistic about their contributions toward a better future.

Q: How is Infiniti communicating its “Luxury Should Be Lived In” strategy?
: We have always called ourselves a human brand. This overall brand philosophy behind “Luxury Should Be Lived In” is unchanged. We are simply communicating our philosophy in a way that resonates better with consumers. It’s something that’s still very true to us, central to who we are and what our brand is. 

The product features we’ve been developing over the years reflect that. For example, some of our driver assistance technologies -- empowering technologies, as we like to refer to them -- were the first in the world to be produced.

Q: How have the ads tested?
: The communications we’ve done so far have had a positive impact. We’ve had good resonance with consumers from the ad tests we’ve done. People are interested to see something new like this coming from Infiniti. 

Since “Luxury Should Be Lived In” is a global positioning, we’re very pleased with the consistency of message across each unique market, and we can see that it’s working quite well.

Q: What other data/insights supported this communications strategy?
: Our creative agency partner, Crispin Porter Bogusky, looked across a whole host of consumer studies and surveys for insights into luxury today. 

We looked at what luxury means for different demographics. The younger population, the under 40s, are going to become an increasingly important consumer group for luxury products as we go forward. We can already see a different pattern of spending and consumption from other age groups -- certain things are much more important to Generations Y and Z. Their disposable income is spent much more on experiential goods and services, such as travel, eating out, phones and other technology that connects them to people, rather than on the traditional possessions that you might associate with luxury, like clothes or jewelry. 

Q: How does “Luxury Should Be Lived In” play into those values? What words would Infiniti’s target customer use to describe luxury today?
: Our target customers are going to consider luxury to be about experiences, pleasure, enjoyment, making the most of their time. To a certain extent, luxury is made up of those simple and authentic pleasures, whether it’s spending time with family, going back to your roots or spending time in nature. It’s about experiences, it’s about well-being. Those are the types of things our target customers are going to use as examples of what they consider to be their luxuries. 

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