Subaru has ambitious plans to sell more vehicles and the effort is based on a deft marketing campaign built around the word love and an emphasis on charitable giving.
During the past decade, as Subaru has become the seventh best-selling brand in the U.S., the Japanese automaker has given away more than $115 million dollars to community-oriented, not-for-profit CoSubaru’s generosity.
Tom Doll, Subaru president and chief operating officer, told the annual MAMA or Midwest Automotive Media Association’s annual breakfast at the Chicago Auto Show, that Subaru, which now celebrating 50 years of selling vehicles in the U.S. plans to continue its charitable giving. The formula includes donating $250 for every vehicle sold in the U.S.
Last year, Subaru sold a record 648,000 vehicles in the U.S. and this year is targeting sales of 680,000.
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But the numbers are only part of the story, Doll said. Consumers want to feel good about the companies they patronize and the products they buy, Doll said.
“Customers are getting more demanding,” added Doll, who said consumers want to feel sense community, and an affinity and a purpose in their lives.
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The giving program sponsored helps foster a broader relationship with customers and also helps them feel better about their relationship with Subaru.
Subaru also emphasizes customer care throughout their retail network where the stress is on a personal touch and face-to-face communication, Doll said. “We want to connect with customers in a non-traditional way,” added Doll.
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Other companies appear willing to travel the same path. Hyundai is now promising to donate money to fight pediatric cancer with the slogan “Hope gains strength with every Hyundai.”