A fantasy for more than 60 years started taking shape as reality for Chevrolet Corvette fans just over two-and-a-half years ago.
That’s when online rumors and forum posts about bumper molds, patent filings, and “spy” photos began popping up.
That was also when officials at General Motors began uttering denials and engaging in a pattern of staying mum when asked if the next generation of “America’s Sports Car,” the Corvette (C8), would be a mid-engine. Nothing.
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That is — until we saw Mary Barra, GM’s chairman and CEO, as well as the Corvette’s chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, driving through New York City in the long-anticipated mid-engine Corvette, wrapped in camouflage. It had the reveal date, July 18, 2019, written on the side.
The timing couldn’t be better for Barra — who has taken a lot of heat from President Donald Trump about job losses due to recent plant closures.
To support the production of this next-generation Corvette, GM will add 400 jobs at its plant in Kentucky, which aligns with Trump’s vision to continue decreasing America’s unemployment rate.
The addition of the second shift is expected to bring the workforce to at least 1,300 people. It’s definitely a boost for the labor market — but just how does GM plan to pull off the launch and produce sales that will further drive economic growth? Answer: By using out-of-the-box marketing.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 20, 2019
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) July 20, 2019
You would have thought with this fanfare, it was a long time in coming — and it was for the engineers and loyal Corvette customers. For GM’s official marketing team, though, it’s only just begun.
Here are three marketing strategies that I’ve observed — organic or planned — in what could be the most successful and “not-talked-about” product launch we’ve ever seen.
1.) Let rumors do your marketing for you. When rumors include the words “new and exciting” in the messaging and are continuously flowing, let the public discourse serve as your marketing campaign. Why interrupt strong and steady placements by beat reporters, fired-up influencers, and eager consumer forums when they’re doing what your own marketing would do — and better?
Feeding curiosity, interest, excitement, and anticipation is the purpose of a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign. When you can get it for free from passionate fans and professional spectators, stay mum and enjoy the ride!
2.) Get your customers involved — and keep their attention. After the camouflage reveal and the official announcement, GM has kept the attention of Corvette fans with teaser videos, email updates and social media posts. The company even produced an easy-to-download and free “next generation” Generation camouflage wallpaper for desktop, tablets, and mobiles.
By covering so many customer touch points, GM is showing appreciation for consumers and respecting their passion.
Doing this reinforces the loyalty of their current customers — and attracts even more new customers to become interested in this next generation.
3.) Take your product directly to customers. GM has a marketing strategy that is sure to catapult C8 sales and dramatically increase buyer activation by taking America’s Sports Car on the road … literally.
The company has announced two tours for the C8 to be showcased at 125 dealerships across the U.S. after the reveal.
In this booming Trump economy, people have more money to spend.
Fans get the opportunity to experience the super car firsthand; buyers will have the option to personalize their own Corvette, including customizing parts such as seats, wheels and accessories.
In this booming Trump economy, people have more money to spend. GM’s strategy to reach out to customers will put its new product right in the hands of the buyers — and give customers the opportunity to invest money back into America’s free enterprise system.
From denials to rumors to camouflage, we’ve been witnessing an extraordinary marketing campaign that embraces the old adage, “To forbid is to attract.” If that’s the case, the company’s given us the ride of our life in a build-up to what could be one of the most highly anticipated and exciting automobile launches in history.