Scion: A charter for changing marketing

How would you like to work at a company that insists that you experiment and innovate with your marketing activities? Kimberley Gardiner at Scion has that charter and was kind enough to share some of her insights with me recently. Having previously worked on the Toyota and Lexus brands, Kimberly has embraced the mission of being the “laboratory for experimentation” at Scion.

The Scion brand targets urban males 18-24 and is building its customer base by bringing the theme, “United by Individuality,” to life. The company has implemented a product strategy that encourages the personalization of its vehicles. It is supporting communities of owners with information and events, turning them from buyers into brand advocates. And Scion maintains a high degree of authenticity in all communications. These are key themes I believe are important for marketers in the digital age.

If you visit you’ll notice several of the company’s marketing tactics:

  • A members section: information and activities for Scion’s customers (I like the notion of treating them as members)
  • Tweaks of the Week: pictures of actual customers’ cars with their personalizations
  • Events: films, concerts and other events sponsored by Scion

Scion has reached out to its target in new ways. One was by sponsoring a site and contest for aspiring game developers themed “Driving Creativity.” It was done with Kongregate, a company that markets games.

I applaud Toyota for empowering the Scion division to experiment and marketers like Kimberley who are willing to take risks, to fail and find new successes. Other multi-brand marketers should take a close look at this model.