Range Rover of North America subsidiary opened its doors in 1987. In seven years, the firm had grown from a distributorship selling only one Land Rover model to a multi-product firm with three vehicles under the corporate brand. In 1992, the firm changed its name to Land Rover North America (LRNA).
In 1994, Charles Hughes, President and CEO of LRNA had to make decisions which were to be pivotal to the future trajectory of the firm.
The first issue that Hughes faced is the lack of awareness of the brand and consumers' confusion with the brand name Land Rover' and its product Range Rover'. One of the consequences was the very low market shares of LRNA in the US SUV market.
[...] How would you manage the Land Rover line? I would recommend that LRNA should focus its communication in differentiating its three SUVs. Each of the Land Rover's SUVs has certain benefits for a specific target, so the company should maintain three different positioning in the SUV market: I would recommend LRNA to position the new Range Rover as alternative'. That is to say, the alternative to traditional luxurious car, as BMW and Mercedes, which offers the same comfort, high quality, on-road performance with higher off-road capabilities. [...]
[...] Before 1993, the retail strategy of Land Rover North America was to work with a limited network of premium-car dealerships. This selection of prestigious dealer network contributed to the perceived exclusivity of the brand. As the final component of LRNA's new strategy, Charles Hughes wants to redesign the dealer network, converting franchises into exclusive partners called Land Rover Centres. The Land Rover Centres Concept is interesting for LRNA because it would allow reinforcing the Core Identity and differentiating LRNA from its main competitors. [...]
[...] The Tread lightly program gave the same values to the brand like the Ruta Maya. Experience marketing programs Driving schools It would be beneficial to keep the classes because they reinforce the sportive and adventure identities of the brand. This is also a good way to develop the loyalty of the brand. The classes could also be a way to allow owners to discover the other cars of the range. Classes are the best way to create a strong relationship between the brand and its consumers. [...]
[...] The brand should decide which distribution strategy is the more effective: maintaining the actual retail strategy, opening exclusive retailers or developing the Land Rover Centre Concept. Positioning What positioning should Land Rover adopt to differentiate itself from its competitors in the United States? I would recommend that Land Rover position itself as an authentic and adventurous SUV brand, with high quality and performance products. Nevertheless, to fit to the consumers expectations, LRNA should be able to create a ‘modern' image for its products against “old-fashioned” cars as minivans. [...]
[...] Sponsorship Sponsorship must support the Core Identity of Land Rover and at the same time reinforces the positioning of the three SUVs. The event should be selected by their values for the consumers and the message they convey to the different target groups. I would recommend maintaining the Camel Trophy sponsorship, where the Defender should be put forward. This event symbolises extreme conditions, promoting the need for adventure. Its values are close to those of the Defender's, so the audience of the Camel Trophy would be the target group of the Defender. [...]
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