This post is part of a regular series called 360 Perspectives, featuring customers, partners, and experts unraveling the complexities of what it takes to change mindsets, connect silos, and put the customer at the center of their business.
When you’re in the business of selling an ultra-luxury product, customers typically make an effort to seek you out, not the other way around. You’re not appealing to the masses, so the conventional rules of marketing don’t apply. Still, it’s crucial to build and maintain a strong connection with customers, and to do so in a way that reflects this unique audience.
Case in point — Automobili Lamborghini.
The carmaker, founded in 1963 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, where it is still headquartered, already makes one of the most coveted super sports cars in the world. It is expanding on its world-class design and performance to focus on exceptional customer engagement rooted in personalization, trust, speed (of course), and complete transparency with customers.
“Our goal is not only to have a good net promoter score in the next customer survey,” said Andrea Puggelli, Head of Retail Marketing and Customer Journeys. “We want to get closer to our customers by connecting the dots around all the physical and digital touchpoints of their experience with Lamborghini.”
That means connecting customers with the brand, the Lamborghini owner community, and its dealer network. Here are the steps Lamborghini took to get closer to its customers and create opportunities for dealers.
1. Adopt an agile development model
When it began its digital transformation several years ago, Lamborghini also made crucial internal changes in the way its teams work together. “We pushed hard to break down the walls between teams, promoting collaboration and integration. Why? Because any one of the teams can come up with the next breakthrough to enhance the customer journey,” says Puggelli.
It adapted a minimum viable product model to test features and pivot accordingly, enabling the team to measure, improve, add, and remove features and capabilities as needed.
“The world of digital is not an eight-year lifecycle like in the luxury car industry,” said Puggelli. “This is a daily cycle, and what we learn today can be applied to new features tomorrow, which is better for customers.”
This new way of working had the full support of senior executives, who helped spearhead its first “Lamboforce” last year. It’s an internal event to promote this agile approach, bring people together to share objectives and inspiration, and to discuss how technology can create more engaging customer journeys.
“When employees fully understand the purpose of what you’re doing, nothing is impossible.”
Indeed, getting all employees onboard is an essential component to becoming a customer-centric company. It involves not only communicating the vision but also each employee’s role in realizing it. It’s something we’ve heard consistently from other leading brands featured in our 360 Perspectives series.
2. Leverage mobility and community to give customers direct access to your brand
Lamborghini’s invitation-only mobile app Lamborghini Unica (Italian for “unique”) is the heart and soul of its customer engagement strategy.
“It’s an exclusive app for an exclusive community of people,” said Puggelli.
In addition to all the basics consumers can expect from an app, owners have access to personalized service, can manage their vehicles, preview new products, register for events, connect with other owners, and get real-time updates (including pictures from the production line) of their car being built.
That last point is key. It’s not uncommon for buyers to wait up to one year for delivery of their Lamborghini. The app keeps them up to date on production, and lets the company build anticipation as the date approaches, pushing notifications and offers to customize their car.
The app is so central to its customer strategy that dealers are now accountable for a KPI that measures app downloads and registrations. Dealers make it easy to register not only with intuitive navigation but by inviting customers in for premium coffee to help them through the process if needed.
“The app gives customers access to the entire Lamborghini world,” said Puggelli. “It’s a tool to build relationships with customers, and is a source of incremental opportunity for dealers.”
He said that Lamborghini has already sold two cars (not insignificant considering the price tag) via the app, when a prospective buyer made an inquiry routed to a dealer.
The app will also be a way in which customers will book the factory delivery experience “La Prima”, a memorable ceremony to take delivery of their car at the factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese.
3. Certify authenticity with blockchain
There are few things more important in the world of ultra-luxury than the trust in what you’re buying is 100% authentic. While counterfeit merchandise is more commonly associated with jewelry and handbags, it does happen in the world of super sports cars.
Lamborghini continuously works on the implementation of new innovation to build trust and transparency with customers, including the first concept of Salesforce Blockchain integrated with its CRM to certify the authentication of spare parts and, in fact, whole “heritage” (pre-owned) vehicles.
According to Silvia Pecorari, Customer Journey Benchmarking and Innovation at Lamborghini, blockchain enables the company to share verified, distributed data across its network of trusted partners and third parties.
For example, a heritage Lamborghini selling at auction would go through up to 1,000 certification checks, a painstaking process requiring experts to slog through a large network of sources to fully curate its history. The trust network Lamborghini has built between these distributed partners, called Sicura, enables the company to authenticate vehicles faster and more securely and, more importantly, give its new owner peace of mind.
This detailed history adds to the uniqueness of the car, which can add up to 25% to its value, said Lamborghini’s Head of After-Sales Paolo Gabrielli. The company plans to expand certifications to global dealers and brand experts, giving customers further assurances.
Next up, Puggelli says Lamborghini will invest in data analytics, collecting data around the customers’ experience but also in the interaction with their cars. While it has worked hard to digitize its systems, processes, and much of its engagement with customers, the lifeblood of the brand will never change.
“We will never lose focus on the live experience with customers,” he said. “The Lamborghini buyer will never end their purchase with a click. It will always end with a human touch as part of a memorable and personalized journey.
To learn more on how to drive your own customer-first transformation, check out the Customer 360 Playbook or subscribe to our blog newsletter to get regular updates on this series. You can also watch a recent interview with the Lamborghini team below