The focus of this campaign by Leo Burnett Advertising was on loyalty, specifically to achieve 13% growth in brand loyalty in the second half of 2000.
Secondary objectives were to increase repurchase by 10% and sustain sales over the seasonally slow third quarter by converting existing loyalty into sales and recruiting new customers.
This objective dictated an audience of current Subaru owners. Through the dealers, customer service questionnaires, CRM and previous qualitative groups, Leo Burnett and Subaru learnt a lot about this group.
There are similarities among Subaru owners across the four models, including that they are more knowledgeable than others about cars and are proud of this knowledge, they research their purchases carefully and are influenced by facts than emotions, they have a dry sense of humour, respect intelligence and ingenuity and have a strong sense of self.
To be motivating and relevant to this target, communications had to be multi-layered, with the flexibility to go as deep into the Subaru message as individuals customers wanted. It had to appear individual, not as advertising bombardment. It had to give the facts without losing a sense of fun, and it had to ascertain a presence for Subaru into the targets mind.
The solution was to use the web, along with DM, TV and print. It had to have a consistent brand personality for Subaru, built on its quick wit and human dimensions.
The website, Subaru.com.au was the lynchpin of the campaign, designed with as much appeal for driving holiday devotees as rally enthusiasts.
With loyalty in mind again, large sections of the site were designed for existing owners, not just sales prospects. Users at the site could also design their own car, compare Subaru models with other marques and understand the science behind all wheel drive.
The Subaru’s existing CRM programme and its 75,000 customers, received a huge boost from the website. It brought efficiencies in communication as well as a greater understanding of its customers.
Loyalty to the Subaru brand jumped 28% from June 1999 to September 2000 with 69% of current owners saying they would consider buying another Subaru. This took Subaru to the number one spot, ahead of BMW at number two, followed by Holden third and Toyota fourth.
Repeat purchases also increased as did the proportion of all sales coming from repeat purchases. The integrated approach resulted in a 15% volume increase over 1999.
At the recent Australian Effectiveness Awards, held in Sydney on August 3 2001, Subaru’s integrated campaign picked up the ‘Best Use of Digital Media.’