Marketing has grown to be such an important part in the automotive industry to the extent that it is not involved in the very first stages of development of new cars. This explains why carmakers have started creating a biography for a single target buyer even before they have begun developing a model car.
Take Infiniti for instance, who knows everything about the people who will be buying its upcoming compact model, which is loosely inspired by the Etherea concept (shown in the picture) and due to appear in 2015.
“The target customer is a French lady called Pascale. She’s 34 years old, living in London with an English guy who works in banking,” Nissan global product planning boss Andy Palmer told Autonews Europe. “We pick a lead market, we pick a lead customer and we research in detail that lead customer. Every car has a person with a name, an income and a lifestyle and that gives product planners a reference of where we’re going with the car,” Palmer explained.
The goal of this extreme form of customer profiling it to give designers and planners a clear focus of what is required from the car they will develop. It is only natural that the more radical the car is, the less mainstream the customer will be. Usually, the fictional client lives in the country or region where the car will sell the strongest. When it developed the Juke, Nissan used the same approach, and the automaker has already identified the customer for the new Qashqai compact crossover due next year. Palmer didn’t get into personal details about the next Qashqai’s typical buyer, however they did day that the person is urban and European.