At a time when most automakers are going to extraordinary lengths to target Millennial buyers, luxury brand Lincoln is betting its fortunes on an entirely different demographic, one it’s calling “cultural progressives.”
Per Lincoln’s own research, cultural progressives are younger and more affluent than the automaker’s current buyers, who, on average, are some 65 years old. Cultural progressives go counter to the mainstream, and are likely to buy a Lincoln just because their neighbor buys a Lexus or Mercedes-Benz.
Most important of all, these buyers are seen as agents of cultural change, highly likely to influence the purchasing decisions of others. Bundle that up, as Automotive News
(subscription required) explains, and you have the ideal target buyer for the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan
, set to hit dealers in November.Lincoln
is doing what it can to get these cultural progressives behind the wheel of a new MKZ
, sponsoring “Exclusive Access Tours” in nine cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston and Dallas. In smaller markets, Lincoln is giving dealers preproduction MKZs to show off to consumers.
Those placing early orders for a 2013 MKZ can expect the royal treatment, too, thanks to a rewards program developed in conjunction with the American Express Centurion card (its range-topping offering). MKZ buyers may be treated to gifts like a weekend getaway or a custom bottle of Scotch whisky, depending upon indicated preferences.
To let these cultural progressives know that Lincoln is a reimagined brand, drive event invitations have a distinctively artsy feel to them. One depicts a Lincoln interior sketch next to a calla lilly, said to be behind the center console’s lines. A second shows a manta ray, influential on the basic shape of the dash.
Will this push to a specific demographic be enough to put Lincoln back on the path to success, or is the cultural progressive buyer the stuff of urban myth? To our perspective, they seem a bit too much like Dos Equis’ “most interesting man alive” to be real, but Lincoln’s market research clearly says otherwise.