• Feb 20th 2007 at 6:36PM
  • 6

Most carmakers produce automobiles for a wide variety of customers and adjust their marketing strategies accordingly. While a Viper may be used to promote the brand, Dodge isn't trying to sell one to the same customer considering a Caliber, for instance. A handful, meanwhile, only market to the über-rich. Brands like Ferrari and Bentley may come to mind, but compared to the crème-de-la-crème marques like Bugatti and Rolls Royce, they're a dime a dozen.

Rolls Royce, as was recently revealed in the Los Angeles Times, only targets potential customers who have liquid assets in excess of $30 million. That segment wouldn't be considered a mass market, and so the way Rolls Royce sells a car is markedly different from how, say, Dodge would.

[Source: LA Times]

Until the launch of its upcoming second model, the Drophead Coupe, Rolls Royce only makes one model: the Phantom. They produce less than 800 of them every year, and prices start at a third of a million dollars, with the sky obligingly serving as the limit. (They recently sold a stretched Phantom Extended Wheelbase limousine to a customer in China for $2.2 million.)

To get to these customers – and to keep them – Rolls Royce employs a series of unique marketing approaches. (The LA Times report says that Rolls Royce doesn't engage in co-branding endeavors, but the recently-reported accord with Grey Goose vodka suggests otherwise.) Dealers are chosen based on their common interests with customers. Customers are invited to exclusive dinners where contacts are made and deals struck. Buyers receive surprises in the mail, like a personalized letter from the CEO or a coffee-table book about the brand. Anything to make the customers feel special, in the hopes that they will replace their Rolls Royce with another at the right time. And many do: in the US, nearly a third of business comes from repeat customers. That's a customer loyalty rate that doesn't come easy, but it helps when your direct competition is a yacht or private jet.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I love that they are doing a two door coupe and a small sedan, sadly I would have to get a mortgage, work triple shifts and weekends and probably sell my worldly possesions to buy one, pay the insurance and thegas, but a man can dream
      • 8 Years Ago
      We think Rolls Royce is a crème-de-la-crème-marque like, GoldVish's cell or Mbl's sound systems
      • 8 Years Ago
      it's called brand positioning!

      it's like targeting a very narrow and focused group and talking the language they understand and would want to respond to. it is the single most important aspect of any business regardless of industry and price.

      want to get a real lesson in successful branding, then study Toyota!! and for worst read about ford and GM!

      branding essentially makes a business either win a market or loose it! it is that important. a simple brand strategy, which is about a 20 to 50 page word document only, can cost anywhere from $500k to $2 million for any given car model/brand.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I believe the Veyron's current speed record allows it to carry the status of a marque that was engendered through Ettore's engineering genius. The EB110 wasn't exactly entry-level, either.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Since when did Bugatti, a marque in name only, (and the world's most expensive Volkswagen) and one that is in the process of producing 300 copies of its only car, become the creme de la creme?

      Rolls has been in continuous production for a century. How long did the original Bugatti last?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Very clever folks! They took themselves out of their former slot, which had grown tired, and went up-- being careful to target actual potential customers with modern features and just the right amount of ostentation. Now they can come back into the market with a "smaller" car (actually the size of the old models).
      Those who bemoan the loss of the Veddy Veddy English car for the tweedy set should notice that customer has died. In Bev Hills, I have seen drivers in their 30s and 40s with Phantoms. In the old life, the Phantom models were to be driven by chauffers.
      The reality is that Oil Money is more around than Old Money, and the new Rolls hit it right.
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