On April 3, Audi will celebrate the launch of the 2015 Audi A3 with extravagant parties in high-sales centers like Los Angeles and New York. Hip urban aficionados there know what it takes to reel in the young up-and-comers that Audi wants behind the wheel of an A3. For launch parties at the rest of its U.S. dealerships, Audi sent each a 64-page hipster how-to packet, containing detailed instructions about the food, music, décor, and attitude that will appeal to the A3’s younger target demographic.
Bacon-wrapped dates, dark-chocolate-laden grilled cheese sandwiches, indie craft beer, minimalist black-and-white décor, and hip electronic tunes are all recommended for Audi’s nationwide A3 launch parties. It’s fancy bait, and rising urbanites in their mid-20s to early 40s just might bite.
Automotive News acquired a copy of the packet, which reads: “To establish Audi as a lifestyle brand, we need to create a lifestyle experience. Every facet of the launch event, from cutting-edge music to gourmet food to minimalist décor, should…be uniquely tailored to this discerning demographic.”
With the Audi A3, the German automaker hopes it can at least equal the early success of the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class, which is so popular that it sold out completely in the U.S. in 2013. At $30,795 with destination, the 2015 Audi A3 is meant to give new luxury buyers access to the Audi brand, and ideally cement long-term loyalty. Part of that future loyalty strategy is shaping a brand identity that will resonate with buyers for years to come.
“The A3 is a really exciting car for the brand because it brings us back to a segment we haven’t been part of in a long time,” Audi spokesman Mark Dahncke told Automobile. "[The parties] are an opportunity for us to make a big exclamation point…and an imprint in the short term, but we can also nurture that customer base going forward.”
It’s a bold, but perhaps quite savvy marketing strategy. In the luxury game, brand cachet is often the deciding factor even before customers research available equipment, quality, and pricing. Either way, a night spent gorging on shrimp lollipops, bacon spiced doughnuts, and crisp IPA sounds pretty outstanding -- as long as a nap in the back of an A8L follows.
The base 2015 Audi A3, powered by a 170-hp 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, starts at $30,795 included destination fees.