American Marketer


Lamborghini draws most attention among auto brands

July 26, 2018

Lamborghini has increased its online sentiment and offline influence. Image credit: Lamborghini


Italian automaker Lamborghini has bolstered its marketing reach and increased its goodwill among influencers, according to a new report by Engagement Labs.

The auto brand’s recent announcement of a new SUV helped drive the positive conversation around Lamborghini, landing it in the top spot in Engagement Labs’ TotalSocial automotive rankings. Meanwhile, fellow Italian automaker Ferrari fell from first to sixth place as less consumers discussed the brand on- and offline.

"With very few mass-market brands at the top of our list, we can see that the automotive brands who have a unique story to tell are more successful in resonating with consumers," said Brad Fay, chief commercial officer at Engagement Labs.

The latest TotalSocial automotive rankings evaluated face-to-face and social conversations about auto brands in the United States for the six months prior to May 2018.

Shifting rankings

For the first time in 25 years, Lamborghini will be including a sports utility vehicle in its product line. Thus far, the automaker has succeeded in drawing attention to the Urus from affluent SUV drivers.

The Urus is what Lamborghini is calling the world’s first SSUV, a Super Sport Utility Vehicle that is considered the fastest SUV in creation.

This interpretation of an SUV resembles a true Lamborghini version of a utility vehicle. Equipped with Adaptive Network Intelligent Management, Lamborghini looks to deliver a safe but powerful driving experience (see story).

BMW saw the largest boost among high-end auto brands. Image credit: BMW

Along with Lamborghini, German automakers BMW and Audi were among the high-end brands that saw positive movements in the TotalSocial rankings.

BMW, which shifted up from seventh place to third, set itself apart with the introduction of its new subscription service, Access by BMW.

Through this program, customers can subscribe to the service in exchange for the ability to rent premium BMW cars for a time.

BMW will offer the service in two tiers, ranging from $2,000 to $3,700 per month. Enrolled customers will be able to order their preferred car from a local BMW dealer (see story).

Audi, which moved up one place to number four on the list, frequently releases narrative advertising campaigns, which give consumers something to discuss. The automaker also continues to innovate its driving technology and production methods.

Tesla continues to be the subject of negative press and conversations. Image credit: Tesla

In the top 10 rankings, U.S. automaker Tesla saw the steepest drop, falling eight spots to tenth place.

Tesla has drawn negative attention after production of its entry-level Model 3 was partially slowed by robots, leading the company to replace some of its automation with humans.

After Tesla announced record losses at the end of 2017 and further delays to its Model 3 line, Autolist found that many of its customers said they would cancel their orders if the cars were not delivered in a timely manner. For luxury auto brands, meeting production deadlines can be a challenging task, but for customers it is one of the most important criteria for owning a luxury car (see story).

After topping the ranking two consecutive times (see story), Ferrari has lost some speed.

"Ferrari is known for focusing its marketing tactics on a specific niche segment to convey a sense of luxury and exclusivity for its sports cars," Mr. Fay said. "The luxury automaker dropped down our ranking by five spots into number six due to a decline in both its online and offline influence score."

Offline influencers

The TotalSocial rankings are unique in that online and offline influencers are both considered.

"We recognize that the best influencers are those who own the product and recommend it to others," Mr. Fay said.

Events are a key to bringing luxury car enthusiasts together.

Summer is peak season for large-scale automotive festivals, including the Silverstone Classic and Goodwood Festival of Speed. These events present automakers with opportunities to celebrate important milestones and anniversaries of famous cars, as well as tease future models (see story).

"It is especially important for luxury brand marketers to focus on the offline influencers," Mr. Fay said. "Very few luxury car buyers are looking to social media for advice."