There is a long debate about marketing; whether it is science or art. I cannot definitely say marketing is art of science. In some cases, it is reflecting the characteristics of science and in some cases it is reflecting the edges of creativity.
As you know that, couple of months ago Aston Martin announced its pocket sized model Cygnet. It is based on Toyota iQ (with working throttle pedal). Aston Martin just changed its interior and exterior and offered as a new Aston Martin. Engine, transmission and other things did not change, they are the same with normal Toyota iQ. It can be defined as packaging!
Why Aston Martin did this? Last year, every car company realized and felt the reality of global economy and how it can ruin their business. Especially luxury market is serious affected from the crisis and they have to make money to sustain their business. They know the end of story, if they cannot manage their brand properly. So Aston Martin have to produce something relatively cheap and create demand.
It was not easy for Aston Martin as they don’t have any experience on small cars. Also how to sell this car? This is serious marketing issue; if they offer a cheap Aston Martin, everyone will buy one and their next competitor will be Hyundai for next year. Aston Martin will no longer be a James Bond cars. What they have done is something very clever to save the business for future. If you have already have an Aston Martin, you are eligible to buy Cygnet. By this way, the Cygnet which we will on street means that, this person has a decent Aston Martin and this is for daily driving.
This strategy is very clever way to increase sales and protect the brand reputation. They will be many complaints for its performance, handling and other issues but in terms of marketing, this is very a clever method. Except with one drawback; they will sell to people who already to have Aston Martin but how they know that, those people may sell this car for higher price in grey market! Especially emerging markets will be their main environment.
Next year, we will be able to buy a Cygnet in Turkey without having a decent Aston Martin. Aston Martin’s brand image will change in those markets. Many people will not know Cygnet for only Aston Martin owners, they will think “that’s a cheap Aston Martin”!
These kinds of risky marketing strategies have always weakness and Aston Martin knew this. In order to increase sales figures significantly in luxury segment, you have to take risky decisions. What Aston Martin did for Cygnet can be considered as an art of marketing. Ordinary rules for marketing may not help Aston Martin to achieve high sales with Cygnet and protect brand reputation.
Pictures are taken from;
Aston Martin and Toyota Website