Luxury car brands rewarded by digital approach
We may all feel uneasy about the economy as we enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic but in fact, the car market has never cooled down as dealers hope to beat shortages and delays and return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022. Meanwhile in 2021 the luxury automotive sector has posted record-breaking results. What is eye-catching is the ever-so-younger crowd of luxury car buyers indicating once more how the shift from traditional to digital marketing has worked across the board. The case of Rolls-Royce is the perfect example of this trend.
Last year, Rolls-Royce delivered 5,586 cars around the world, the most cars Rolls-Royce has ever sold in one year in its 117-year history. These small sales figures are not a failure at all for luxury car brands. They represent, in fact, a historic success.
The pandemic has somewhat disrupted production in 2020 for makers like Rolls-Royce and Bentley, but once factories got running full speed again, they closed out 2020 with fourth-quarter sales. But what about the luxury car market customers? You would expect white-haired gentlemen enjoying retirement, wouldn’t you? It might have been true a while ago, but not anymore.
When it recently announced its record-breaking 2021 sales, Rolls-Royce also announced the average age of its customers, in the United States and globally, is just 43 years old. That means many buyers are also much younger than that, like in their 20s or 30s.
Playing a factor is the Black Badge option package. These versions of the iconic British cars boast an aggressive and sporty look, with chrome accents and dark details certainly appealing to a younger crowd. But the main factor contributing to these numbers might just be the “meta” approach the brand has taken in the latest years, presenting itself as a social media icon, becoming ever-so-often present in music videos, and making tik-tok appearances shared hundreds of thousands of times.
The “digital” approach has thus rewarded Roll-Royce and other luxury brands. A recent survey of Rolls-Royce customers in California has shown that the younger buyers are mostly tech entrepreneurs, savvy on social media, and ready to show their new status symbol to the metaverse.