Per­son­al­i­sa­tion is key to suc­cess in lux­ury ve­hi­cles mar­ket

The re­vised Qu­at­tro­porte 2017 has specif­i­cally been de­signed for en­trepreneurs and dy­namic trail­blaz­ers

Mail & Guardian - - Motoring -

The lux­ury ve­hi­cles seg­ment in South Africa is com­pletely dif­fer­ent to any other mar­ket. It is a niche mar­ket that speaks to a very par­tic­u­lar cus­tomer. In a coun­try where there are many play­ers who suc­cess­fully op­er­ate in this space, how does a global brand cre­ate a pres­ence that res­onates with a South African au­di­ence?

“The an­swer is sim­ple. Per­son­al­i­sa­tion,” says Jason Cleghorn, head of mar­ket­ing at Maserati South Africa.

There is no doubt that Maserati has be­come an iconic brand known for ex­clu­siv­ity, Ital­ian de­sign, per­for­mance and crafts­man­ship, but, says Cleghorn, to re­ally stand out in the crowd and to keep clients com­ing back for more, the key to suc­cess is un­der­stand­ing the cus­tomer re­quire­ment.

This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant given the tough com­pe­ti­tion in the mar­ket, a stag­nat­ing eco­nomic cli- mate and weak­ened ex­change rate. As con­sumer pres­sure in­creases, clients search for ve­hi­cles that will give them the best re­turn on their in­vest­ments. This means that play­ers in this seg­ment sim­ply have to know their cus­tomer bet­ter, and go be­yond the or­di­nary to de­liver, he says.

“The in­ter­net has changed the way cus­tomers shop: by the time they step onto the show­room floor, they al­ready know what is they are look­ing at, so it is about of­fer­ing some­thing that is unique and dif­fer­ent, as well as know­ing who it is that you are talk­ing to.”

He ex­plains that Maserati re­cently un­veiled its re­vised Qu­at­tro­porte 2017, which has specif­i­cally been de­signed for en­trepreneurs and dy­namic trail­blaz­ers. He adds that it rep­re­sents the quin­tes­sence of Ital­ian sport sedans, yet em­bod­ies the en­trepreneurial spirit that ex­ists in South Africa.

“As with all the ve­hi­cles of­fered by Maserati, our flag­ship Qu­at­tro­porte can be fully cus­tomised to re­flect the owner’s per­sonal style. We have in­tro­duced two new trim strate­gies, the GranS­port and the GranLusso. Cus­tomers can choose which op­tion bet­ter suits their life­style,” says Cleghorn.

The new trim strat­egy for both the GranLusso and GranS­port was con­ceived to meet the needs of clients who seek a dif­fer­en­ti­ated and unique prod­uct in the lux­ury sedan seg­ment. The GranS­port is geared for the sport­ing en­thu­si­asts who want their ve­hi­cles to re­flect their more ath­letic life­styles, sport­ing the highly dis­tinc­tive and dra­matic GranS­port trim. The GranLusso rep­re­sents style and en­hanced ex­clu­siv­ity, for those who seek to live on the more lav­ish side of life; with a be­spoke in­te­rior styled and ap­pointed by the lead­ing fash­ion house Ermenegildo Zegna. Maserati is the only brand in the world to fea­ture be­spoke silk in­te­ri­ors.

Cleghorn says that this ties into the brand’s strat­egy to con­stantly ex­ceed the cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tion, with tai­lor-made of­fer­ings and ex­pe­ri­ences that are made just for them. It is at this level of per­son­al­i­sa­tion and be­spoke ex­clu­siv­ity where potential cus­tomers get in­volved in the cre­ation process of their own ve­hi­cle, rather just buy­ing one from the show­room floor — and this en­sures their re­turn.

“Our con­fig­u­ra­tor al­lows prospects to per­son­alise their choice of ve­hi­cle – so they can ac­tu­ally love their ve­hi­cle before they take de­liv­ery.”

He adds that equally im­por­tant is en­sur­ing that the cus­tomer jour­ney at Maserati doesn’t end once the sale has been fi­nalised, but con­tin­ues at af­ter-sales.

“Our South African af­ter-sales di­vi­sion has re­cently been rated the top af­ter-sales team in the Maserati Mid­dle East, Africa and In­dia re­gion. As this award was voted for by Maserati cus­tomers, this is con­fir­ma­tion that the Maserati ex­pe­ri­ence in South Africa is truly exceptional,” says Domenico Cosentino, head of af­ter-sales for Maserati South Africa. He adds that the Maserati Ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes ac­cess to unique af­ter-sales benefits.

He says that it is this com­mit­ment to excellence, as well as form­ing a long-last­ing re­la­tion­ships with clients, that en­sures the brand’s level of ser­vice goes be­yond the or­di­nary.

“Cre­at­ing one-on-one ex­pe­ri­ences that de­liver on, or bet­ter still, ex­ceed the cus­tomer’s ex­pec­ta­tion of what a brand is, is key to suc­cess in this mar­ket,” con­cludes Cleghorn.

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