Recent college graduates are down in the dumps financially, with about half of them unable to find good jobs, and many of them reluctantly moving back in with Mom and Dad -- where at least they can be covered for health insurance until they're 26.
Surveying this scene, Scion has been moving decidedly up-age in in its target market. Introduced as Toyota's "youth brand" nine years ago painting a bull's-eye on newly minted college graduates, Scion brand executives now say that their primary target are still Millennials, but they're moving slightly older, to college grads around age 25 — and they want to help them make their business plan a reality.
"Five years ago, it was the 21-year-old who would have the high propensity to buy a new car, and their parents or other co-signers had a higher propensity to help them out with that purchase" than now, Owen Peacock, national marketing and communications manager for Scion, told brandchannel."Now if you look at a 21- or 22-year-old, their top concerns tend to be debt and student loans and getting a job," he added. "And the first thing when they're done with school isn't going to be buying a new car."
So the brand is shifting focus to the 25-year-old "who is through [college] and starting their first real, career job," Peacock explained.
Expanding on the brand's new "What Moves You" campaign, a related contest targets up and coming creative and digital entrepreneurs with chances to win the services of a "personal business mentor," $10,000 and a Scion vehicle to advance their careers. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 35 — with many expected around the 25-year-old sweet spot — are invited to submit written responses and a 60-second video describing their career passions and spelling out what resources they would need to achieve their goals.
The almost decade-old brand "has found common identity with the arts community and has supported more than 1,700 artists through galleries, music events and other efforts. The “What Moves You” brand campaign presents the passions of Scion’s many creative partners, and how the carmaker’s support has helped them achieve their goals."
“Supporting emerging artists is a Scion cornerstone, and we are featuring their personal stories as key parts of this brand campaign,” stated Peacock. “The recent introductions of the FR-S sports car and the premium micro-subcompact iQ have broadened Scion’s reach to new audiences, but we want our unique passion and business approach to continue to shine through.”
To that end, the 10-year-old brand Scion will select 50 semi-finalists to attend a three-day workshop with industry leaders to learn "essential skills" they can use to improve their businesses. They'll get a chance to revise and incorporate the lessons into their entries before 10 winners are selected.
The program aims "at our target consumer: leaders who will make something happen for themselves," Peacock said, "not people who are sitting on their laurels until the next job comes to town and they can get it."