Car Performance and Pedicures
year was host to Infiniti's first Limited Summer Engagement
Tour, a three-city event that introduced Infiniti to
the women's marketplace. The invitation-only luncheon
offered vehicle test-drives, product information and
various female indulgences (specifically manicures,
pedicures, culinary and golf demon-strations) and was
available to women who own, previously owned or showed
interest in owning an Infiniti vehicle.
The event was an attempt to get women interested by
presenting them with knowledgeable sales people in a
non-confrontational setting, said JoAnn Lawler, Nissan's
Manager of Lifestyle Marketing.
"We're trying to establish relationships,"
adds Lawler, "while at the same time providing
a comfortable atmosphere where women can relax, ask
questions and test drive the vehicles without feeling
the pressure to make an on-spot decision."
Two groups of 30 women leisurely arrived for the afternoon
event held in an air-conditioned tent that was set up
in a Chicago parking lot. Infiniti's attempt at luring
the women was obvious — plump gift bags decorated a
registration table and a friendly, predominantly-female
staff was on hand to answer any questions and direct
the ladies from one activity to the next.
Spa amenities were provided to keep women occupied while
waiting to test drive vehicles, although it seemed that
test-driving kept them occupied while they waited in
line for neck massages and pedicures. Whatever their
preference, the women seemed to enjoy themselves, and
most of all, appreciate the fact that a car company
was finally trying to get their attention instead of
their husbands or fathers.
Focusing on Infiniti's signature sleek design and classic
interior touches, women test-drove vehicles on a five-mile
course along Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. Safety features,
like the new optional Lane Departure System that uses
cameras to notify drivers when they drift into another
lane, were demonstrated and discussed on a one-on-one
basis. Available on the Infiniti FX, M and Q models,
the feature proved to be a selling point among the attendants.
"Infiniti has so many standard safety features,"
said Daisy Wilson who came with her sister, an Infiniti
owner. "We've been really impressed with what you
get for your money."
Added her sister Suz Visor, "And even more impressed
that they trusted their lives [driving] with us on Lake
Rosie Martin of Chicago brought her daughter to the
event for some female bonding. "They've been wonderful,"
she said of Infiniti, "this is something that you
don't see other companies doing for women."
This wasn't, however, Infiniti's first attempt at marketing
toward females. The Women's Forum, a previous program
developed by Infiniti's Lifestyle Marketing Division,
generated such positive feedback that it spurred this
series of events. Infiniti also gained attention when
they sponsored Fortune Magazine's Most Powerful Women
Summit this year.
With females accounting for more than 50% of automotive
sales, it is becoming increasingly necessary for manufacturers
to market separately to women. By focusing on safety
and providing a relaxed, yet informative atmosphere,
Infiniti is gaining respect and appreciation from the
female market one woman at a time.