Friday, October 21, 2016

Commentary: One Automaker Courted The LBGT Community, Before It Became The New Black

Before it became acceptable, one automaker discreetly courted the Lesbian community. According to marketing gurus, this literally help the ailing automaker carve out a niche. Ironically, a few decades later, when the
automotive industry was seeing red during the recent Great Depression, this one automaker was seeing black. And that automaker happened to be Subaru.

According to a 2004 article featured in Automotive News:

"In studying its buyers about 10 years ago (1994), Subaru found that an unusually large share of owners in Northampton, Massachusetts, were women. It conducted a focus group and discovered that many of them were lesbians, says John Nash, president of Moon City.  According to Nash, the women were basically commercials for the Japanese brand. The women said they bought the cars because of their reliability and ruggedness.

Subaru initially was guided by Moon to go after this base, targeting local newspapers. The campaign initially expanded to national newspapers, using such slogans as "Be Brand True" and "Get Out and Stay Out." Today Subaru has moved away from targeting Lesbians and the GLBTQ community exclusively as a part of its marketing effort.
This goes to show you that when a brand moves beyond general marketing advertising to tap into a base, it can bring huge rewards. I have always been a proponent of multicultural, diversity and sub-brand marketing. It always reap big rewards, when an automaker authentically taps into a market where most are ignoring. Look for a more comprehensive discussion on this topic in the near future.

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