Infiniti dealer ad groups to help launch Q50
David Rosenberg: “To be a Tier 1 player, you have to act like one.”
Infiniti dealers are counting on a revamped advertising structure to help them launch the new generation of their top seller.
The Q50, the renamed redesign of Infiniti's G37 sedan, will reach dealers this summer.
Over the past year, Infiniti dealers been getting an ad association up and running, and adopting revised advertising standards for the brand.
The retailers have agreed to third-party monitoring to ensure that everyone follows the standards. The guidelines were drawn up by the Infiniti National Dealer Advisory Board and cover how local Infiniti ads appear in print and on TV, and how retailers advertise prices, says David Rosenberg, advisory board chairman and owner of Prime Infiniti of Hanover, Mass.
"Infiniti wants to be a Tier 1 player in luxury brands," Rosenberg says. "To be a Tier 1 player, you have to act like one. That means you can't have a dealer on the Internet or on television advertising $10,000 off a 2012 QX.
"That makes it look like distressed merchandising. It takes away from the whole brand. It detracts from the brand identity."
Rosenberg says that creating and adopting the standards took some negotiations among dealers.
"You've got those dealers who say, 'Hey, we live in America -- it's a free market. I want to be able to advertise what I want to advertise.' You also have dealers who are just very aggressive at marketing. They need to be convinced that you can still be aggressive in advertising without causing the brand any distress.
"It's been a little painful for some dealers, maybe," he acknowledges. "It requires an outside company checking our Web sites for the size and the shape of the Infiniti logo, for example. You have to have a consistent message that you're sending out to the public."
The revisions occurred after the brand adopted a national dealer ad association system. Rosenberg says the association is responsible for putting more ad dollars into marketing the brand.
"It's helping a lot, actually," he says. "We're all contributing, and Infiniti is supporting it. We contribute a certain dollar amount per car. And as a result, Infiniti's share of voice is up significantly in every market. The total spend is higher, national and local.
"But it took a lot of discussion and meetings among dealers, because, you know, it does cut into our margins. Not a lot -- but it is a piece of your margin."
Rosenberg, a multifranchise dealer, says he is bullish on Infiniti and completed a $7 million investment in his dealership last year. He believes the Q50 will help Infiniti compete more aggressively against BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi -- a mission that will require a stronger advertising presence.
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