Toyota Matures its Scion Youth Brand
January 1, 2013
Scion found it was selling to older customers more than the ones it pitched.
LOS ANGELES — It's called growing up.
Like the twentysomething who graduates to cabernet from six-packs and comes to appreciate creased slacks instead of ratty jeans, Toyota is taking the same approach with its youth sub-brand.
Scion was Toyota's iconoclast for almost a decade, a grand effort to reach Generation Y as if they are an entirely new kind of customer. The lineup stressed personalization and quirkiness to set itself apart from the cars that everyone else drove.
But Toyota's once-highflying division is facing lackluster sales. To fight back, the company is aiming Scion's marketing toward a slightly more mature shopper — emphasizing traditional showroom draws, such as performance and sophisticated looks. Instead of advertising through non-traditional, off-beat art or music publications, Scion is running TV commercials on NBC and ESPN.
"I don't know that the trendsetters are necessarily the target (customer) anymore," says Bill Fay, a Toyota group vice president. Scion will not "walk away from them," but the brand is evolving.
"Youth has changed in the past 10 years. As youth changed," he says, Toyota has had to "look at the brand."