How Scion Used Music To Sell Cars
You’re in your mid-twenties. You live in an urban environment. You’re single and have disposable income. So, what do you do with your money? You spend it on cars and you spend it at clubs. Scion knows this and they want to make it easy for you to spend your money on their cars, so they’ve hit the clubs. But while the company may be on top of the trends, they’re not so trendy that they’ve forgotten what matters: individuality.
According to Jeri Yoshizu, Scion’s sales promotions manager, Scion is a company which prides itself on the fact that it “has consistently championed independent thinking, personalization and alternative culture” which is reflected in art and music. And so they use art and music to reach the creative people who would want own a Scion. They use their profits to help support emerging artists and the creative communities where their consumers are based. For example, they have their Scion Installation Tour and L.A. Gallery which “affirms an ongoing commitment to supporting independent artistic expression”. And as far as the music goes, they started an in-house record to CD mixtape and 12” vinyl releases to help give exposure to bands and DJs.
You might be wondering what kind of band would want to work with Scion? Well, the short answer is a band with a good marketing plan. The way that signing with Scion works is that the company will pay for all of the costs associated with creating the first 1000 copies of an album on vinyl. So a band without a lot of money that’s looking for publicity could sign up with Scion and have all of their initial manufacturing, production and marketing costs taken care of. Then, Scion allows the rights to the master copy to revert to the band. In an ideal situation, this gives the band enough publicity so to get their name known and perhaps get picked up by a label.
But not just any old band with a desire to get heard is noticed by Scion. The company specifically targets the hipster audience, seeking out creative people who are ages 18 – 35 and who are interested in DJ-based music. These people are the kind of people who attend Scion’s events. (Names that you may or may not know who have worked with Scion’s in-house record label include Junk Science, Dakah, GZA, El Michaels Affair, Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane, Percee P and Connie Price and the Keystones). And, the company hopes of course that the people who come out to hear the music at these events are the people who would want to buy their cars. While the average Scion owner today is a creative 30-year-old male, the target audience is a little bit younger and includes both men and women. This is reflected in the new designs of Scion’s vehicles as well as in the way the company is incorporating music into its marketing plan.
You can check out Scion’s Internet Radio station if you’re interested in their music. With the increase in online music video availability, we’re more likely to be sold on a band if we can see or hear them online. Their broadband channel features both audio music and video clips and includes a significant amount of content that is exclusive to the company. So you can not only have the hottest new wheels but also be on top of the latest sounds.
But what if the music isn’t enough to make you want to buy a Scion? Well, Jeri Yoshizu can sum up in one sentence why a young adult would want to purchase a Scion. She says, “Scion offers a no-haggle experience for stylish vehicles equipped with a ton of standard features”. And the important thing is that Scion doesn’t push its products on anyone. Instead, they make the cars available in the context of the scene which their target market will enjoy. Drive away if you want or just dance to the DJ; it’s up to you.