Toyota's Scion Brand Bests E-Tailers With Recognition Among Young Consumers

Scion, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A.'s brand founded in 2003 to appeal to Generation Y consumers, has 80% name recognition among young buyers, according to Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)'s second annual e-commerce survey, putting it ahead of other, well-established branded online retailers Sears, Target, Macys, Best Buy and

Cisco's second annual e-commerce study ranks Scion above and Best Buy in building a top-branded customer experience for the under-35 online shopper.

Leading the survey at No. 1, despite not having even ranked last year, Scion's "spectacular success with their target market is the interactive and community-oriented nature of the Scion online experience," the survey finds. Key aspects of Scion's online strategy include:

  • Clear customer focus: Scion customers are music fans, and features a boom box where users can listen to "Scion" music while browsing the site. The site also promotes artists and lists concert information.
  • Sophisticated customization tools: Users can build their own cars while on the site and save their choices at "My Scion."
  • Integration between online and offline channels: Once a user identifies the features and model of a particular car he or she likes, that information can be sent to a local dealership, which will then locate that specific vehicle and coordinate for the customer to come in for a test drive.
  • Social networking and community participation: A section of is devoted solely to registered users, most of whom are Scion owners. There are also special events for Scion customers around the country, creating a sense of exclusivity.



Cisco's IBSG study ranked 27 North American web sites in five distinct categories: ease of use, personalization, content, interactions and transactions. Additionally, the survey looked at two different aspects of online shopping from a consumer's point of view: foundational capabilities, the basic must-have characteristics of the Web site, and emerging characteristics, the more sophisticated bells and whistles that add greater value to the customer's experience.

One such emerging characteristic that Cisco sees rising in ubiquity is video, which is no surprise given Cisco's own acquisition of social networking technology firm Five Across Inc. in February. Since social-networking often includes rich media, the amount of traffic on a company's network grows as well when it is added. That, in turn, could provide a boost to Cisco's primary business -- Internet infrastructure.

"As retailers look to provide a more interactive, engaging experience and as video becomes more ubiquitous, retailers will start to use a YouTube-type approach to connect with and get closer to customers," says Mohsen Moazami, VP/Cisco retail and consumer products, regarding the IBSG study. "We believe video is driving an increase in customer loyalty and profitability."

The study's overall top 10 rankings are:

  1. 1. Scion
    2. Sears
    3. Target
    4. Federated
    5. Circuit City
    6. Best Buy
    7. Amazon
    8. Cabela's
    9. Home Depot
    10. Wal-Mart

Leading the way in Foundational Capabilities are Scion, Sears, Target, Macys, Staples and Cabela's. In the category of Emerging Capabilities, the leaders are Scion, Sears,, Circuit City and SonyStyle.

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