Cadillac is at it again. The company has spent the past few years speculating over its dismal placement in the minds of millennial luxury car drivers as a “stuffy” alternative. Increasingly, it finds itself beaten by more sporty options from Mercedes, Audi, Porsche, and even Nissan!
Changing Ideas of Luxury
The seeming outdated marketing and making of Cadillac is pretty much summed up in the logo. Despite several changes over its more than a century-long existence, the logo still contains the complex crest, which embodies its view of sophistication. In short, Cadillac has remained in the world of crystal chandeliers, monocles, and opera houses.
However, the definition of what it means to be rich, famous, and classy has changed drastically. The once stuffy aristocratic definition no longer holds as much weight as the down-to-earth and purely glamorous alternatives.
How can it when the First Lady dances to pop music on national TV, the President does videos with Buzzfeed, and millionaires like Mark Zuckerberg drive a Volkswagen? In fact, the heavyweight of sophisticated and somewhat old-fashioned luxury vehicles is the Bentley, which builds its market based on its customization and scarcity.
So Cadillac has embarked on a wide-reaching campaign to make itself the cool kid of luxury cars on the block, once again.
Hiring New Marketers
The company hired the same marketing team that worked on the Belvedere vodka brand. It also took on fashion photographers to shoot Cadillacs against the backdrop of urban settings, a common strategy in fashion for making brand’s ‘edgy’ and ‘chic.’
Cadillac also left its own moody urban district behind and moved to Soho in New York. This puts Cadillac smack dab in the middle of an artistic movement, which draws a sophisticated audience to live at the lofts and visit art galleries and museums. A love of art remains one of the few remaining ideas of sophistication from the aristocratic era.
A New Look
But Cadillac’s efforts to create a new look go far beyond moving house, and taking cool pictures in the streets. General Motors just poured $12 billion into the subsidiary to develop 11 new models. In doing so, the company hopes to make small coupes, classy sedans, and large SUVs (like the ever-popular Escalade) to compete in the same class as Audi, Benz, and BMW.
A New Face
The company’s new look also required a new face, as back in 2014, the company hired a new president. Johan de Nysschen previously held similar prestigious titles at other luxury brands like Audi and Infiniti. As Audi is one of the competitors Cadillac hopes to dethrone, the company no doubt hopes he brings some of the hip sophistication of Audi into the fold to help reach their goal.
One of the new developments in this era of sophistication is a special interest in the environment. This is no longer a cause of hippies and tree-huggers; it’s also close to the heart of celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio. Cadillac, long known for building big gas-guzzlers, hopes to branch into this green market with electric cars.
Of all the new changes in this era of sophistication though, one of the greatest is technological innovation. When it comes to driving, nothing says innovative and advanced more than self-driving cars. In spite of the speculation around the technology, and whether or not these cars will even be legally allowed on the road, Cadillac plans to get with the times by investing in this as well.
With all these changes, the company seems poised for reaping the best rewards for its investments. By changing the design, look, focus, and even where it does business, Cadillac has certainly made the right moves to appeal to young buyers in the luxury market.