Infiniti builds buzz with early adopters

The luxury auto brand is building interest in the QX50 SUV by tapping into consumers' excitement for technology.

Infiniti Canada is in the midst of a program for the impending launch of the 2019 QX50 that aims to get early adopters as excited about the new SUV as they would be for the latest consumer technology.

Every pre-registration to own the QX50 counts towards unlocking a new tier of prizes from Apple, such as an Apple Music subscription, to an Apple TV to an Apple Watch. Each time someone posts about their pre-registration on social media, it also counts as an extra point towards unlocking the next tier. All prizes unlocked by the end of May will then be gifted to those who pre-register and eventually purchase the QX50.

The program is being promoted through CRM, social, search and in-dealership. It will be followed by a fully integrated campaign, set to launch once the QX50 is out of its pre-registration phase and enters the market.

Adam Paterson, managing director for Infiniti Canada, describes the launch budget for the QX50 as “healthy,” but says it isn’t as large as some of its competitors in the luxury category and doesn’t allow the brand to “make as much noise” in traditional media.

“We wanted to try and be innovative in terms of how to reach as many Canadians as possible with the available dollars,” he says. “The best way to do that is to allow them to share the launch or their purchase with their friends, families and followers.”

The QX50 is one of Infiniti’s first forays into semi-autonomous driving technology, with features like steer assist, intelligent cruise control and distance control assist, which is part of the reason it wanted to link its pre-registration program with a technological offering.

But Infiniti’s “Empower the Drive” brand positioning has been attempting to establish it as a “driver’s brand,” with vehicles built for those who still enjoy taking control of their vehicle on the open road as other brands push further into technological innovation, including autonomous driving. However, Paterson doesn’t feel that those two elements have to be in conflict with one another.

“Consumers are interested in technology, but we still feel that there’s a huge portion of the Canadian car buying population that purchase a vehicle because they really enjoy driving and being in control,” Paterson says. “But those exciting drives aren’t the thing you’re doing most often. It’s day-to-day traffic that you’re most often dealing with. So our technological positioning is around [allowing] the consumer to delegate the more mundane tasks of their driving experience.”