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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.brandchannel.com/home/post/2015/02/16/150216-5-Questions-Uwe-Ellinghaus.aspx

Modern luxury for younger people is about unique experiences, not hoarding stuff. It's about doing rather than having, seeing and experiencing rather than possessing.

Ellinghaus: We can allow more passion than the Germans allow, because passion is infectious. The German (auto) brands are ordered and disciplined. They are about technology; we aim for ingenuity.
But is this credible for Cadillac? Yes. Passion is in our blood, in our body, in our birthplace. After all, a 61-year-old founded the brand. And in the Fifties, Cadillac design showed a forward-looking spirit, like the cars wanted to get to the moon!
But we won't "outdo" luxury; we won't use "attention to detail" and other craftsmanship cliches. "Luxury" is associated with European brands more than with American brands; we're not LVMH or Bentley.
Luxury consumption has become so much more intrinsic over the last 20 years. It is about stylistic individuality, not status. And now so many more people have access to luxury goods, with low interest rates [in the US enabling big-ticket purchases].
We want to "outwit" luxury, to dare greatly and create interplay among the brand values of boldness, sophistication and optimism, and yet be inviting and approachable. We want to inspire. We want people to dream Cadillac again instead of demonstrating one-upsmanship such as "more horsepower," "more torque," etc.
So, he wants Cadillac to compete in luxury the market but not necessarily with the traditional values already heavily associated with premium cars.

Clever idea, but so far the tagline makes little sense.

We'll wait and see.
 

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That ideal is not new. It's pretty much what he and his branding team have been speaking of for the past couple months. Melody Lee's interview in Forbes and Ellinghaus's feature in AdAge show their path.

They're trying to determine what Cadillac stands for in a sea of luxury brands.
They're turning Cadillac into a luxury brand that happens to sell cars.

Luxury is experiential and aspirational. They know that.
They know the market and how it operates. They just need to find a spot where Cadillac can get a foothold.
 

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Jeez what utter rubbish. Luxury brand that happens to sell cars. :fall:
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That ideal is not new. It's pretty much what he and his branding team have been speaking of for the past couple months. Melody Lee's interview in Forbes and Ellinghaus's feature in AdAge show their path.

They're trying to determine what Cadillac stands for in a sea of luxury brands.
They're turning Cadillac into a luxury brand that happens to sell cars.

Luxury is experiential and aspirational. They know that.
They know the market and how it operates. They just need to find a spot where Cadillac can get a foothold.
No. You aren't getting it.

Luxury cars are a tangible experience, not just a name, not just a possession. They are different from jewelry, from pens, from purses, from watches. They are complex machines that you live through.

That's not even remotely close to the nonsense spewed by Melody Lee.
 

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I don't think he is saying that product isn't important. Far from it. He actually says:

"There is a great product-driven change as well, as the brand is embarking on a new journey and investing billions of dollars in new products, including the CT6 [top-end sedan] that we'll reveal at the New York International Auto Show.

"But the Cadillac brand needed to change. We've lost some of our old customers and we're not conquesting enough new customers—because we lack relevance. We need to have a new point of view to show why we're relevant and to get across how much Cadillac has changed.

"You can't just put product—even great product, which we have—in front of people. If the brand isn't relevant, people don't care."

I think he's got a point. Cadillac is delivering much-improved product and demonstrating a developmental sophistication that makes me more confident they will continue to close the gap on the competition in areas like powertrains (refinement and 'specialness'). But, despite much-improved products, sales haven't taken off.

For a luxury product, or any product driven by emotion, the context matters. What's the car's story? Why is it like it is? Why is it unique? What does it say about the person who chose it? Right now, those questions are a bit murky for Cadillac. Corvette has a much crisper story to tell. Heck, even a loaded Chevy truck is clearer on what it is, why is is and what it says about the person driving it than say an ATS.

Ellinghaus is simply arguing that Cadillac needs to both better articulate its story while telling that story both through Cadillac's products AND the experience of its brand (everything from advertising to the dealer/buying experience). I think that's spot on and look forward to see where it takes the brand.
 

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No. You aren't getting it.

Luxury cars are a tangible experience, not just a name, not just a possession. They are different from jewelry, from pens, from purses, from watches. They are complex machines that you live through.

That's not even remotely close to the nonsense spewed by Melody Lee.
Exactly.

QFT

To no surprise........ the entire main thrust and well over half of the main points by Uwe ( and thereby the whole enchilada ) are entirely different than the ...... then the regurgitated and recycled.... six or seven talking points straight out of the 90s ..... and only applicable for 1 - 3 % of the premium market from back then anyway - the maladjusted 1 -3 % at that ...... we hear so much about of late on GMI from certain sources.

This at least make sense; whether you agree with it in small part or in full. The other is so far beyond laughable it actually has moved past sadness into full blown sympathy.


Some sort of spiritual + mental illness essentially.
 

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"experiencing rather than possessing"

Does that mean people should just rent (experience) a Cadillac for a day or two instead of owning (possessing) one?


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 
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No. You aren't getting it.

Luxury cars are a tangible experience, not just a name, not just a possession. They are different from jewelry, from pens, from purses, from watches. They are complex machines that you live through.

That's not even remotely close to the nonsense spewed by Melody Lee.

Buy a luxury pen from Montblanc. Then you'll finally understand luxury.

Oh brother.
 

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Interview the hundreds of thousands including the great unwashed section who recently leased a run of the mill low to mid end Audi, BMW, or from MB - and then the real understanding concerning ATS and CTS can begin.


Oh, and make sure you also include the previously non premium owners like say Accord Coupe owners er and oh shucks, there just so many so ...... might as well get them all so say also Malibu Millennials on the move up who, want to move up while keeping or obtaining 4drs and an improved backseat for the childseats and kids - and blew right past Cadillac ATS and CTS as well as so much @ Buick, Acura and Lexus and yet still ended up a Premium brand statistic.

Should we not also count those that went with an Audi, BMW, or MB certified pre owned rather than a new or similar ATS or CTS ?

Especially for about the same or more in terms of real money ??????
 

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No. You aren't getting it.

Luxury cars are a tangible experience, not just a name, not just a possession. They are different from jewelry, from pens, from purses, from watches. They are complex machines that you live through.

That's not even remotely close to the nonsense spewed by Melody Lee.
LUXURY IS A PERCEPTION!!!


You people are just too stubborn to see beyond your nose. Or you're just fooling yourselves.
Or, more to the point, YOU DON'T GET IT!!!

No matter how good Cadillacs can get, no matter how refined, no matter how much technology, no matter how much leather, no matter what. If these cars aren't PERCEIVED as a luxury brand, then it will never BE a luxury brand.

It is the intangibles that make the brand!!
 

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LUXURY IS A PERCEPTION!!!


You people are just too stubborn to see beyond your nose. Or you're just fooling yourselves.
Or, more to the point, YOU DON'T GET IT!!!

No matter how good Cadillacs can get, no matter how refined, no matter how much technology, no matter how much leather, no matter what. If these cars aren't PERCEIVED as a luxury brand, then it will never BE a luxury brand.

It is the intangibles that make the brand!!
I don't entirely disagree, but I think that the perception isn't some sort of hocus pocus. It comes from the full experience of the brand. That includes the product as well as what I would call 'the story': the brand's heritage, its engineering philosophy, its sales and marketing experience, its successes. Buying a luxury car (or a performamce car) is an emotional purchase, so the story is that added layer beyond the intellectual side of the purchase (price, resale, performamce figures, etc).

Another way to look at it, I think, is that mass market cars like the Camry or Malibu are primarily rational purchases. People buy them to get to work and run errands, so reliability, space, fuel economy and price drive consideration. But luxury and performance cars are emotional purchases. The story matters and buyers tend to be harder to shift once they 'buy' a brand's story. For that to work everything about the brand, including a the products, needs to be aligned.

An example: much of the Porsche story was built around the unlikely story of the success of the 911: engineering triumphing over a platform layout and creating a difficult to master drivers car that still can be driven everyday. Great sports cars that didn't quite align with this story (928, 944) succeeded but were never quite successful as Porsches. But the practical mid-engined car and the very high performing sedan and SUV -- cars full of contradictions that Porsche manages to make work -- actually seem to work with that core story and have not only sold well. They've extended to core brand without weakening it.

Cadillac has much improved products and show signs that the products will get better. But the rest of the story isn't clear. Why should I buy a Cadillac if its just like a BMW but just a bit quicker over a twisty road? They are working on telling the rest of that story. That isn't a bad thing ...
 

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I don't entirely disagree, but I think that the perception isn't some sort of hocus pocus. It comes from the full experience of the brand. That includes the product as well as what I would call 'the story': the brand's heritage, its engineering philosophy, its sales and marketing experience, its successes. Buying a luxury car (or a performamce car) is an emotional purchase, so the story is that added layer beyond the intellectual side of the purchase (price, resale, performamce figures, etc).
HUH??
Everything you mention there are the intangibles. The history, heritage, the emotional purchase.
Brand heritage means nothing until it is spun in such a way that it becomes an integral part of the vehicle, vehicle purchase, and vehicle experience. Otherwise, who really cares that Cadillac invented the electric starter? You spin it in such a way that it is a supporting factor about Cadillac innovation, and the perception to the buyer about Cadillac as a brand with a history of innovation

Another way to look at it, I think, is that mass market cars like the Camry or Malibu are primarily rational purchases. People buy them to get to work and run errands, so reliability, space, fuel economy and price drive consideration. But luxury and performance cars are emotional purchases. The story matters and buyers tend to be harder to shift once they 'buy' a brand's story. For that to work everything about the brand, including a the products, needs to be aligned.
It's emotional because of how and what the buyer perceives.

An example: much of the Porsche story was built around the unlikely story of the success of the 911: engineering triumphing over a platform layout and creating a difficult to master drivers car that still can be driven everyday. Great sports cars that didn't quite align with this story (928, 944) succeeded but were never quite successful as Porsches. But the practical mid-engined car and the very high performing sedan and SUV -- cars full of contradictions that Porsche manages to make work -- actually seem to work with that core story and have not only sold well. They've extended to core brand without weakening it.
911 is a legendary car that manages to put its money where its mouth is. When 911 came on the scene, there was really only 1 other car in the market -- the E-Type.
And yes, Porsche manages to make it's oddball line up work, by mainly staying true to the Porsche brand. What Porsche does is a masters class in branding and product positioning. And it leverages the history and the perception of the legendary 911.

Cadillac has much improved products and show signs that the products will get better. But the rest of the story isn't clear. Why should I buy a Cadillac if its just like a BMW but just a bit quicker over a twisty road? They are working on telling the rest of that story. That isn't a bad thing ...
Cadillac has no story. For the last decade and a half, they managed to throw away its own history, under the false assumption that it would clear the slate for its new "modern" cars. That was proven to be the wrong move.
I think Ellinghaus will reverse course here. Cadillac needs a story to tell. Whether it's their own history of innovation or LeMans history, I don't know. But I can't wait to see what they come up with.
 

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I think I get it! I've gotten a $10,000 credit union loan, and I'm going to buy three pairs of shoes, two shirts, and a pen!

Wish me luck!! :drive:
 
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HUH??
Everything you mention there are the intangibles. The history, heritage, the emotional purchase.
Brand heritage means nothing until it is spun in such a way that it becomes an integral part of the vehicle, vehicle purchase, and vehicle experience. Otherwise, who really cares that Cadillac invented the electric starter? You spin it in such a way that it is a supporting factor about Cadillac innovation, and the perception to the buyer about Cadillac as a brand with a history of innovation
So, we violently agree :)

I guess I'm paraphrasing you somewhat because what I see is that others in the thread see words like "perception" and "intangibles" and automatically assume that Cadillac is headed back to 90's-era GM 'brand management.' Yet many of those same folks would consider a Corvette that didn't have a world-beating pushrod V8 as a betrayal, even if it performed as well. Why? Because it wouldn't fit with the Corvette story as a car that transcends it's 'humble' parts and price to be a world-beating sports car.

The problem right now is that an ATS is a very capable sedan that handles as well as a BMW and offers a more communicative chassis. So, call it 10 percent 'better' in those areas. But, it's powertrain isn't as refined, it's design is nice, but so are the competitors. And, price-wise, it's pretty close to the competition. BMW has decades of being the gold standard in sports sedans, backed up by loads of competition wins and legendary cars like the M3. Audi has the legacy of quattro and the kind of all-weather capability that matters to a segment of buyers. And Cadillac in this segment has .... ? Unless you are looking for an American luxury car, I'm not sure what the compelling emotional case is for the ATS. It's a nice car in a market that's lousy with nice cars.

Remember, the CTS-V once stood out as the Cadillac with the heart of the Corvette. It was hairier than the competition and offered oddball versions like the wagon. It successfully appealed to the emotions in a way that the non-V didn't beyond the styling. And, with current Cadillacs merely iterating on that design language, the current cars lack the impact that the Gen II CTS did -- even if they are still nice-looking cars.

Cadillac needs the whole package: the products, the story, the experience ... the tangibles and intangibles; a perception fully backed by product. It only has part of that equations right now and is focusing where it's weak -- that's smart in my book.
 
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