Saturday, July 10, 2010

Smart Subaru Loyalty Marketing

Subaru's quarterly Drive magazine just arrived . . . and on the inside back cover, I spotted an invitation to request a free Subaru Badge of Ownership at a special Subaru web site. The badge is adhesive-backed to stick to my car's rear bumper (or another likely spot).

Each customer enters his or her name and address, an e-mail address or phone number, and the VIN of the Subaru owned. Customers specify how many Subarus they've owned (in my case, 4) and can request lifestyle icons to be included on the badge (such as the snow sports icon shown above).

This is such a simple but effective brand loyalty-reinforcement gimmick that I had to blog about it--right after I clicked to order mine.

Here's what makes this clever:
  1. Subaru owners self-select to show their loyalty to the brand.
  2. Subaru now knows how many of its vehicles I've owned (since I entered that number when requesting the badge).
  3. Subaru now knows a bit about my lifestyle interests (snow sports, for example).
  4. Subaru now has my e-mail or phone for contact purposes, plus my address.
  5. Subaru asks owners to suggest other lifestyle icons to be offered (gaining insight into other customer interests)
  6. Subaru can connect owners to specific vehicles and demographic info, updating its database.
  7. Subaru's car-lover forums and dealers have something unique to talk about.
  8. Subaru's customers feel they're part of the "in crowd" when they spot these badges on other cars.
This program carries some cost, but that's minimal compared to the opportunity to reinforce and reward brand loyalty. Already, more than 7,000 people have responded. Smart marketing, Subaru!

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