Land Rover Executing All of the Feels

The Brand Manager. Marketing Manager. Whoever thought of and green-lit this production, deserves a raise. Land Rover expertly executed the long-con with their latest commercial by exhibiting an acute knowledge of their varied customer base, brand heritage, and their current target demographic. 

A quick glance at Land Rover from a business and historical perspective shows a company on a tear over the last five years, especially since Ford sold Jaguar Land Rover to Indian-based Tata Motors. They've dominated the luxury SUV market and single handedly propped up a struggling Jaguar brand. Naysayers will harp on the the Land Rover reliability issues, but despite terrible serviceability reviews, Land Rover customer satisfaction has never been better. That said Land Rover's key demographics break down as follows:

  1. Active Male Professional or executive, 35-54 years-old, with an average household income of $375,000.

Yea. That's it. One-percenter high-fives. A study by AdMob in 2012 revealed the pretty narrow niche, reflected in the company's premium luxury offerings at the time. However, the introduction of the Rang Rover Evoque, a crossover-sized SUV, moved Range Rover into another robust market; the merging young professional (millennials, whipper-snappers, youngins with funds.). Land Rover added another branch into the upper-middle-class young professional with the new 2015 Range Rover Discovery Sport (destined to replaced the Land Rover LR2). 

The video above manages to tap into every single customer persona that encompasses the Range Rover experience. 

  • Nostalgic Gear-Heads. Check.
  • Off-road enthusiasts. Check. 
  • Assuming the "active male professional or executive" has a heart. Check. 
  • Millennials. Check. 
  • Women. Check. 

This isn't an accident. Land Rover touts the customer experience, often hosting "events" sponsored by Land Rover. The company organizes off-roading adventures, you can book an "experience day," they've partnered with Virgin Galactic, and their ambassador program searches out Bear-Grylls like personalities to represent the brand. Now, this doesn't mean other car manufacturers don't get their customers. But, based on a quick study of their YouTube and video presence, they're engagement tactics are stuck in the realm of traditional media. Here's my product, here's a flashy commercial, please consume my product. 

For example. 

Now, Porsche's Cayenne has been incredibly successful, and the videos of it have yielded views in the millions. The same goes for Lincoln and their McConaughey ad campaign. However, delving into the comments, and view sources, you see an incrediblde number of link-backs and paid for postings and paid search hits. The videos show the consumer a lifestyle. They build want, and lust, but forgo creating a true consumer-to-producer connection, true communication through a shared experience. No matter how many times Lincoln tells the consumer their cars are cool, that culture won't exist until the consumer builds that belief through shared experiences (sic Social Self, George Herbet Mead)

That said, this is an incredibly high-level analysis of a few very large companies, with extremely complex pasts, cultures, and marketing platforms/strategies. But, the points and take aways can be applied to organizations and businesses of all sizes. 

  • Shared experiences are the building blocks of brand Identity and culture. 

  • Stories with a genuine message and/or narrative offer an effective way to start building these experiences.

  • Video is the easiest way share and distribute these experiences across multiple audiences. 

  • Do not patronize your audience, and customer. They can tell when they're being duped. Be genuine. 

Later this week I'll post a more thorough analysis of some local businesses and how they've leverage videos and visual communication effectively. We love creating beautiful images and videos at Allied, but often times our customers come to us for more than pretty images. They're looking for visual communication. Don't take these pieces as gospel, but rather food for though, and hopefully they can create some discussion, especially within the greater Grand Rapids area.