Luxury Marketing at the Chicago Auto Show

csa13-csagmThanks to Connie Burke and GM for inviting a group of us social media types to join them for Media Day and Social Media Day at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. As one of the bloggers on the crew, I enjoyed experiencing the show in the company of friends.

Will you be at the Auto Show this year?

Disclosure: GM provided parking, passes, a media center and meals. I received no additional compensation for participating. I do love new cars [who doesn’t?] and enjoyed test-driving the 2013 Malibu in August 2012.

2013 Chicago Auto Show Stats

Spread out over 1 million square feet in McCormick Place, the Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show in North America. Over 1,000 vehicles are on display in the 105th anniversary show. That’s a lot of walking! And, that’s why I wore my running shoes.

Here I am with a few friends: Andrea Metcalf, author, media personality and fitness expert; Connie Burke Communications Manager, Social Media at GM; Duong Sheahan publisher of Live Happier and Healthier; Kris Cain publisher of Little Tech Girl and me! [Barbara Rozgonyi CEO of CoryWest Media.] Other friends, not pictured: Marco Foster,  Lisa Pugliese, Jeannie Walters, Sean McGinnis, Molly Cantrell-King, Melissa Pierce, Steve Green, Johanna Cook, MJ Tam, Victoria Greene, Cara Carriveau and Bonnie Kenaz-Mara.

2013 Chicago Auto Show Highlights

Our show itinerary included a press conference, product previews and the opportunity to interview GM experts. Because my company, CoryWest Media, serves clients in the luxury market, and we’re interested in reaching both Millennials and Boomers, I chose to request an interview with Cadillac.

We arrived just in time for the 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Diesel press conference. Other GM Chicago Auto Show highlights included introducing the 2014 Cadillac ELR, the totally redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and the GMC Sierra. Here’s my 2013 Chicago Auto Show slide show.

How Cadillac Markets Luxury Automobiles

Thanks to Hampden E. Tener, Cadillac’s product director, and Jim Vurpillat, Cadillac’s global marketing director, for taking the time to talk about how Cadillac connects with luxury buyers.

At 100+ years old, Cadillac is one of the oldest automobile brands, but it’s not aging. Instead, the Cadillac brand is driving innovation as it leads the pack. In January Mashable reported on how the  2013 Cadillac XTS Is bristling with high tech. And the Cadillac ATS was named the 2013 North American Car of the Year.

“Our mission is to elevate and expand the brand,” said Hampden E. Tener, Cadillac’s product director.

Hampden says it’s important that Cadillac stay visible and important within the GM family and in the luxury car market.

Customer Experience: Personalized, Emotional and All-Encompassing

Luxury is about an all-encompassing, emotional experience. A lot of luxury is about style and the way you’re treated. Hampden says Cadillac’s goal is to make their customers feel so special that they’ll never want to shop anywhere else. High-touch customer care in defining moments is key.

Promotion: Visible to Luxury Buyers, Wherever They Are

Buyers in the luxury market have a variety of interests. To reach luxury brand consumers outside of the dealership, Cadillac holds promotional events at high-end malls like The Galleria in Dallas. And, Cadillac is one of only four World Golf Championship sponsors.

Reach: Span Multiple Generations

Cadillac fans can connect with the brand on multiple social media channels, including twitter and Facebook. The average Cadillac owner’s age skews older than the brand’s social media follower demographic, which provides an opportunity to reach younger audiences with products positioned for them. Jim says the Cadillac brand is a clean slate for the younger market.

Positioning: Lead the Market

When asked what people might not know about Cadillac, Jim said, “We’ve been around for over 100 years. Many people will know the Cadillac name, but they might not have the most current view. We don’t take a back seat to anybody. We have great technology, product and experience.”

Packaging: Heritage, Technology, Design

How does this luxury brand present its products on Facebook?

On #ThrowbackThursday, Cadillac glances in the rear view mirror.

At the time of this screen shot, almost 9600 people liked this image of a 1920 Cadillac 452 Fleetwood Convertible Coupe.
















Technology appeals to luxury buyers across the generations.









Award-winning design attracts media and market attention.









Over to You: What luxury brands do you follow – and buy?

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