(Photos and article by Andreas Dharmawan)
With the estimated eight-million 2012 annual visitors, Hawaii is one of the few places in the world where the number of visitors eclipses the number of residents by close to six times. This situation represents a unique opportunity for many car manufacturers. One reason is that the market for their products is relatively small, smaller than the city of Phoenix, Arizona. That market is even smaller in Audi’s target of the luxury sports car segment. So, why would Audi Hawaii collaborate with Audi of America to increase its brand awareness and presence in Hawaii?
The answer is that neither group can afford to ignore the Hawaii market. With a daily average of over 100,000 visitors staying in Hawaii throughout the year, this is one of the best places to create brand awareness and showcase Audi cars to people from all around the world. So, think of Hawaii as a giant interactive “billboard” advertising Audi products to the global community.
Almost all world renowned fashion brands establish their presence on Waikiki’s main thoroughfare, Kalakaua Avenue. For world-renowned luxury and exotic car manufacturers, Kapiolani Boulevard is the place to be. Audi Hawaii is building a state-of-the-art dealership incorporating energy efficient design, which will be one of the focal points of Honolulu’s urban development. The all- new facility is part of a $400 million luxury residential and commercial development that aligns with the Governor's urban live, work, and play concept. This facility is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
Surprisingly, the local market is not small for one Audi dealer. The total population of Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes Hawaii potential buyers is over 20,000. Audi is growing its market share globally by capturing the X and Y generations, and often Audi’s growth is at the expense of other brand's market share. Given how competitive the market is in Hawaii, building customer ambassadors who can influence friends and families is paramount to the success of Audi in Hawaii. These loyal Audi owners will happily bring their friends and families to Audi dealers, introduce them to Audi brands, and then turn the new owners into enthusiasts.
To help increase the number of Audi customer ambassadors in Hawaii, Audi Hawaii is teaming up with Audi Club North America to bring best practices in hosting a variety of social, charity, and driver education events to Hawaii. Mario Diaz, Executive Manager of Audi Hawaii, and Robert Townsend, Brand Specialist, are leading this effort. Mario, who has over 30 years experience in dealer operations, was touched and impressed by Audi’s approach in taking care of their customers. “I am very excited about the Kundenbegeisterung program from Audi of America. I embody many of the spirit and practices in the program almost as long as I have been in the industry. However, this program allows us to scale our customer delight approach and practices efficiently.”
Robert is not new to Audi. His father introduced him to Audi back when he was 15. After experiencing the C6 A6, B5 A4, B6 S4, he never looked at any other brands. “Audi has always fulfilled my expectations for the best luxury sports driving machine. Style, design, performance, technologies, and fine details are all great attributes that create the soul of a true Audi.” In addition to an Audi project car that he owns, Robert recently obtained a 2013 A3 TDI in Scuba Blue with Titanium Package for his daily driver. At Audi Hawaii, when he is not on the floor engaging customers and prospects, he plans and organizes social, charity, and fun drive events.
The work at Audi Hawaii to turn new Audi owners into enthusiasts is just beginning. Great growth will only continue to accelerate with the implementation of Kundenbegeisterung and partnership with Audi Club North America.