CHERRY HILL, N.J., December 17, 2008 – Subaru of America, Inc. has been named Automotive Marketer of the Year by Mediapost.com. Mediapost.com is the media, marketing and advertising professional's leading internet resource for news, social networking and research.
Recognizing Subaru’s thoughtful and disciplined approach to its marketing in 2008, Mediapost.com singled out the "Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru” work and the launch of the all-new Subaru Forester, along with the charity-based “Share the Love” campaign that is running currently, as ways the company has managed to maintain sales in a down market. The website also noted Subaru of America’s behind-the-scenes work in developing its marketing efforts, such as the introduction of a new Integrated Lead Management system (ILM) and a full-scale Web Redesign to better serve Subaru Dealers with strong lead generation and handling.
Karl Greenberg, editor at Mediapost.com said, “Subaru is an anomaly in the auto business for a couple of reasons. First, Subaru has the kind of brand equity and staunch loyalty you usually find in luxury marques, which means they can keep their message on product and brand, not deals. Also, they have turned a factor that could have limited sales to snow states – standard all-wheel drive – into a performance attribute that helps create a connection between all the vehicles, from crossovers like Forester to younger-skewing performance cars like the Impreza WRX STI (which is hot in sun-belt states like California). Adds Greenberg, “The work that the company has done this year to bring the brand to new consumers by highlighting the passion of its existing buyers has been very effective.”
“Our strategy in 2008 was to raise our standards for connecting with consumers at an emotional level by providing more discipline to our Brand communications architecture while overhauling our media and digital strategies to improve our targeting capabilities,” said Kevin Mayer, director of marketing for Subaru. “We wanted to make sure we created a compelling message that would reach the right customers at the right point of media consumption for them.”
In a difficult year for carmakers, Subaru is the only full-line brand whose year-to-date sales are ahead of the same time in 2007 – and the brand is also recording its highest U.S. market share ever. The launch of the all-new Subaru Forester, recently voted Motor Trend’s 2009 Sport/Utility of the Year, was key to the brand’s marketing in 2008, as well as reinforcement of Subaru’s key strengths to consumers.
“At a time when the industry is in difficulty, we wanted to make sure that we kept a disciplined and steady hand on our brand,” said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Subaru of America, Inc. “An important aspect of our strategy has been to acknowledge that purchasing a vehicle is an emotional, rational and economic decision. Subaru offers distinct competitive advantages in each of these areas and we have been able to communicate our strengths of reliability, capability, value and a rewarding ownership experience in a way that has allowed us to grow our share in a challenging market."
Subaru will display its latest products as well as a new concept vehicle at media days at the North American International Auto Show in January 11-13, 2009.