The luxury car sector has long been a leader in adopting the latest technology for design, manufacture and in-car systems however, luxury car brands are now increasingly turning to digital tech to entice customers before they’ve even taken a test drive in a bid to create powerfully engaging experiences.
TFOL looks at 3 ways luxury car manufacturers have harnessed digital platforms as part of a strategy to tackle poor performance in the luxury car market.
1. Porsche – Augmented Reality App
Designed to support the launch of the Panamera in the Middle East, Porsche’s augmented reality iPad app gives potential customers a chance to explore the car’s capabilities through a highly interactive experience. Using augmented reality enables Porsche to bring the vehicle’s features to life in a more meaningful and impactful way than a simple brochure description could ever hope to achieve.
Steve Blyth of Engage, creators of the AR app, described it as providing “a unique and immersive experience” created to achieve the objectives set by Porsche of “a high-level view of the product and brand as well as an introduction to the Panamera’s features.”
In the showroom, car each feature 5 markers that trigger the iPad app to provide detailed content about the car’s features in the form of texts, images, animations and video.
Online and offline are connected through data capture, with additional information revealed to users who supply their email address via the app. This data is then used by Porsche sales teams to follow up leads.
2. Audi – Digital Showrooms
Earlier this year, in addition to locations in London and Beijing, Audi opened another of its digital showrooms in Berlin. Featuring interactive touchscreens, the showrooms allow customers to explore the range by personalising Audi cars to their own specifications. A significant advantage of the digital showroom for both customers and brands is the lack of space restrictions. Although only 4 models are on display in the showroom, all 49 models in the Audi range can be viewed and interacted with using the multi-media screens.
Creating immersive experiences is central to success in today’s market; Audi’s head of sales in Germany, Wayne Griffiths commented, “staging the brand is becoming so much more important.” The success of this venture has been reflected by the footfall generated with Audi Beijing reporting 8,000 visitors per week , 60% of whom were new to the Audi brand.
3. Volkwagen Group – Mobile Game
Mobile gaming was recently used by the Volkswagen Group to bring consumers closer to their premium sports car brands which includes a roll-call of some of the world’s most sought after cars – Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche.
Designed to bring each car to life through immersive gameplay, the ‘Sports Car Challenge 2’ app (available on android and iOS 7), allows consumers to engage with vehicles through hyper-realistic, 3D product interaction.
Game features include the ability to compete for a position on the global leader board and a chance to take part in time trials with the ‘Ghost race’ feature helping to build racing talents. In addition, the immersive experience lets users customise gameplay through a choice of racing environments, driving conditions as well as offering the ability to customise the cars themselves.
Kristien Wendt of Proelios, creators of the ‘Sports Car Challenge 2’ app, highlighted the growing importance of mobile platforms to increase customer engagement, “Because of the accessibility, brand engagement, reach, measurement through data analytics and the hugely realistic worlds we can now create on mobile, clients are looking at how we integrate mobile gaming into campaigns, how we can connect, measure and interact with offline media such as outdoor posters and print advertising, and how we can use the gaming platform to generate greater consumer loyalty.”
Gamifying the app drives repeat engagement with consumers, creates greater reach opportunities, lets users build an affinity with the vehicles and ultimately, bridges the gap between virtual and real-life brand interaction.