Why Subaru Wins At Customer Engagement

Full disclosure, I’m a huge Subaru fan. Either way, this recent stunt/campaign is awesome. Overall, the idea is simple: listen to the fans and create valuable content that is easy to share. If you can find and activate your most loyal fans in a way that helps generate new fans, deep engagement and future conversation, you will have a huge impact on your current and future audience.

Most car makers have a model or two that does not get exposure in traditional advertising. For Subaru that model is the WRX. It came to the US market in 2002 and was used as their rally team car. For years it was the winningest model in the sport. It has a loyal following among racers, tuners and daily drivers alike.

Subaru asked fans to submit video of their driving skills and five were selected for a once in a lifetime experience:

These super fans were treated to a full day with the original designer and a hands on experience with the new model. Finally on day two they had a chance to drive one. A course was set up for them and the one with the best lap time went home with a brand new car. The entire experience was filmed and beautifully produced. In the first 20 hours since being live on YouTube it  generated over 8,000 views.

Clearly not every brand has the bandwidth to create this level of content but even scaled back, think how you can harness your audience and use them as a voice for you. It is easier than you think. Start with a sentiment analysis of your brand (or your competition) and decide what conversation you want to create or boost. Sentiment analysis will tell you where people are talking and what they are saying. It will also tell you what type of content your audience consumes. Subaru chose video to help launch a new YouTube account for their WRX audience. This has huge viral potential and will provide great SEO for the WRX and the celebrity driver featured in the video.

Plan you release and supporting material then go to town. Don’t forget to track everything.