For the last four years, Lincoln Motor Company has been on a journey to reinvent the luxury car experience. Since every journey starts with a single step, Lincoln’s initial focus was aimed at today’s luxury car buyers — who they are, what kind of luxe driving experiences they want and how to deliver it to them.
The company set out to deliver on the product excellence piece, introducing four all-new vehicles in four years and will culminate this fall with the reimagined Lincoln Continental as the flagship brand.
The company recognized the product piece was only the first step in the ‘road map’ to future luxury consumers. The brand was committed to continue to deliver an elevated client experience in line with their rising expectations.
That meant Lincoln had to deliver experiences to its customers throughout the entire ownership experience — before, during and after the sale. What the company describes as “warm, human, personalized experiences,” which is exactly what affluent customers want and need.
The company calls this ‘The Lincoln Way.’ It’s this complete wrap around luxury experience that will take Lincoln into the future.
How The Lincoln Way expresses a new way of thinking of the luxury car experience
I recently sat down with Andrew Frick, Lincoln, NA Sales and Service Operations Manager, to talk about its the effort to reach the next generation of young affluents, particularly the HENRYs – high-earners-not-rich-yet. They are the vital link to the future of the luxury market.
With a starting price point under $50,000, and a whole gaggle of high-tech luxe features, the Lincoln Continental hits the sweet spot for both today’s traditional luxury customers and the emerging HENRYs.
Andrew explains, “The Lincoln Way is our commitment to elevating and personalizing the customer experience. Specifically, warm, human, personally crafted solutions that deliver time savings and effortless results to each Lincoln customer.”
A key component in The Lincoln Ways is its new Pickup and Delivery Service, an unprecedented offering by any car company. Lincoln has democratized the service extending it across all Lincoln models and all dealerships nationwide, not just an elite few. It’s a value that resonates with the next generation of luxury car buyers.
Delivering on a nationwide program like Pickup and Delivery through its 1,000+ dealer network took a considerable investment of resources, beyond just financial. “Ensuring a driver reaches the client at the exact time requested requires a well-tuned dispatch system with a trained network of drivers, something that isn’t achieved overnight,” Andrew says.
A carefully documented test program preceded the nationwide launch and underscored the value of the service to customers. “Lincoln piloted the program for over a year before we decided to roll the service out nationwide. In the pilot program, Lincoln conducted over 5,000 pickup and deliveries and the results were fantastic. On average the service saved client’s two hours of drive time, with 96% of users saying the service was easy to use and 98% recommending Lincoln and the service to a friend.”
Time truly is the ultimate luxury and Lincoln is allowing its customers to save the time and inconvenience of car maintenance and service.
“Beyond product, Lincoln has always said the client experience is equally important and our commitment to that goal remains. So we focused on what luxury clients value most, which is being respectful of their time,” Andrew says.
Lincoln Experience Center introduces the company’s new luxury
Bringing The Lincoln Way story to life is a new Lincoln Experience Center in the famed Fashion Island in Newport Beach, California. Andrew explains, “The Lincoln Experience Center is a unique environment for guests to experience, engage, and become immersed in Lincoln. Guests can sit in a vehicle, get a glimpse at some of the inspiration behind the scenes of the product materials and technologies, and experience the Revel Sound System or Black Label in dedicated spaces. ”
“Beyond product, the Lincoln Experience Center is also about building community and providing a home for authentic, luxury events and enriching activities that will appeal to current and future Lincoln owners. We are working with community leaders to develop event calendars with experiences that reflect the Lincoln brand, as well as the interests our clients are passionate about like art, culinary and design,” Andrew continues.
I applaud Lincoln for thinking beyond the car and making its brand relevant to the customers’ luxury lifestyle. They understand that luxury customers today take luxury features for granted when they step up to buying a high-end vehicle. But what really sets a luxury brand apart from the rest is a true luxury experience throughout the car’s lifecycle. It is this personal touch that puts Lincoln ahead of the pack.