When you think of a Porsche, what comes to mind ? Something like this maybe;
For me anyway it has historically meant a high performance small to mid size sports car targeted predominately towards wealthy men……….resulting in the brand having a very limited appeal to customers outside of this very targeted market segment.
With the company facing market share and profitability pressures in key markets during the 1990’s it decided to innovate and expand its appeal and specifically sought to target a younger audience and female customers.
With the company’s decision to launch the Cayenne in 2003 they had created a new market segment in an attempt to expand the brand. The Cayenne was released as a cross over vehicle (a vehicle built on a car platform and combining features of a sports utility vehicle with features from a passenger vehicle, especially those of a hatch back or station wagon). This vehicle offered luxury and high performance not offered previously achieving strong appeal within its new target segments. 12 years later this vehicle now accounts for half of Porsche’s profits !
Following on from the Cayenne it launched the Panamera in 2010 and again created the first of its kind by introducing a 4 door luxury sports car.
The Cayenne SUV and Panamera Four-Door Sports Sedan are winning over female drivers and are continuing to increase in relevance within its target market segments.
Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at Edmunds.com, credits Porsche’s success to its counterintutive approach. When Porsche first rolled out the Cayenne to the U.S. market in 2003, she said enthusiasts hated the idea of the elite sportscar brand seemingly pandering to the masses who wanted crossovers and SUVs. “The purists just said, ‘Oh, that’s not true Porsche,” said Ms. Krebs. “Well, frankly it’s the sport utility that kept Porsche going.”
In an effort to continue to reposition the Porsche brand to its new target segments, marketing campaigns have leveraged the 911 model to reposition the brand for every day use. The Cayenne, Panamera and recently introduced Macan model have provided Porsche with the opportunity to extend the traditional sports car model offers and also position these for everyday use. Hence the campaign ‘Engineered for magic, everyday’ was introduced
Innovating to maintain relevance by identifying new and emerging market segments is critical to organisational success in this global and fiercely competitive environment’. We can’t afford not to change to maintain relevance and I am sure Porsche is acutely aware of this fact…….