Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus Explains Why ‘Cadillac House’ Will Help Curate The Brand19
There will be no sales inside the Cadillac House, the public space allocated at Cadillac’s world headquarters in SoHo, New York City. No executives will be there, no brochures, nothing.
Instead, Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, stated it’s a place for New Yorkers to experience Cadillac like they haven’t before. Cadillac will provide art exhibits, fashion pop-ups and you may even enjoy a cup of coffee inside the space.
“Context still matters,” Cadillac CMO Uwe Ellinghaus told brandchannel. “If we can find a way to use the fact that we’re in this very cool location in SoHo and become one of the many ‘in’ places to be for the curious and the creative, the innovators and the creators, we have achieved something. And I think that this great location and the creative vibe that surrounds 330 Hudson is the perfect place to get to the creative class and crowd—but only if you offer the proper program.”
Even though Cadillac will populate the space with vintage Cadillac vehicles, its V-series line and the 2016 CT6 and 2017 XT5, Ellinghaus underscored this experience is not a sales transaction.
“The people we will have there will be brand ambassadors, not sales executives,” Ellinghaus noted. “If people want to buy cars they will have to go to local dealers.”
The idea to open a brand experience on location is not new to luxury brands, but Cadillac felt the idea was needed in order to show its target audience it has dumped its ways of the past, and it is ready to walk the walk, owning up to its product and message.
“We want to demonstrate how serious we are about building a contemporary auto luxury brand and that we go our own way, and walk the talk, and actually “dare greatly.” And there’s a certain amount of risk involved in this. It’s not easy to find your way in the art and fashion scene in New York, but [we] have very good partners in the entire space, and that helps a lot,” Ellinghaus stated.
The Cadillac House will open to the public on June 2, 2016, with exhibits, fashion pop-up retail spaces and more changing continuously.
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Here is the $12 billion dollar question – Dose Cadillac even have a clue anymore who their target audience is? They have all but alienated their original core of buyers, they are obviously attempting to lure the Gen Y and Gen X crowd who could careless about Cadillac and are interested in Tesla and the
German Big 3.
I am by no way a marketing whiz nor have a fancy collage degree in it, but to me this brand seems to be in a total disaray. I understand there are many more products in the pipeline and even Cadillac’s current lineup is the best in decades, but showing a pic of a hipster with a man bun walking next to the new CT6 in sloppy looking clothes on their Facebook page is not only demoralizing to a true Cadillac fan, but almost delusional to think that many people from that generation will have any interest in Cadillac now or even 10 years from now.
Yes Cadillac does have a clue who their target audience is. It is affluent buyers regardless if they were born in the late 50’s or late 80’s.
Different models will appeal to various buyers. Why don’t you let Cadillac put the products the $12B is going to buy before saying they are incompetent.
I never said they were incompetent. I just said it seems so far their marketing strategy is a bit odd and I am concerned with it. I am pulling for Cadillac as much as anyone, my first car was a 84 Fleetwood and unlike a lot of people that post on here, I owned 3 brand new Cadillacs. Even though I don’t own one now, I am a former and hope to be future customer that wants to see Cadillac succeed. I am quite sure they will put out some awesome products in the next several years, lets just hope the marketing strategy is as great as the product. I hope I can look back a few years from now and be able to eat my words.
The ‘Does Cadillac even have a clue…’ comment lead me to think you though they were incompetent.
I also would like to see Cadillac do well although I maybe a little more optimistic than you are.
Well said jamdown
Spending millions of dollars to open a coffee shop in New York !??
Am I the only person that thinks this isn’t going to do a thing in middle America to help boost their image . That money could have been spent on dealerships waiting rooms or better commercials . Just because GM has given Cadillac a 12 billion dollar check to come up with world class products doesn’t mean you can just spend that dough on a corner coffee shop where you can’t even buy a Cadillac . The people that will frequent this shop more than likely won’t even bother talking about Cadillac .
Let’s hope that Cadillac starts to spend their money abit more wisely , like on products .
Read the article please.. They are allocating existing space at their Soho headquarters and displaying a few vehicles. That does not require millions in investment unless they have the government take over the planning and subcontract the work to the union.
Cadillac is committing to product development. Those products are just not ready for market yet.
I just hope many of the shareholders of GM catch wind of this!
Total waste of money. A coffee house/gallery in NY that MIGHT appeal to a small percentage of the population in NY or visiting NY representing –what 3-4% of the total US population. I’m with you original Dan. I have purchase 7 new Cadillacs during my lifetime and I see nothing in an attempt to retain me as a customer.
I want Cadillac to succeed, but find the path Uwe and JDN are pursuing strange and bizarre. I’m just curious how long Mary, Dan, and Mark will tolerate this.
Am I missing something here?
Cadillac is allocating some square footage of their existing facility as a open space multi use area. That is it. They are not stopping planning on their product overhaul. Even if this costs as much as a million it is still a drop in the bucket.
Yes. American business requires a return on investment. Don’t see any return here!
Yes your are correct but the return on investment (ROI) is not always that apparent.
By your argument GM and Cadillac should stop auto racing since it is nearly impossible to quantify the relationship between racing and auto sales for example.
Racing has national international appeal whereas a coffee shop gallery in NY has appeal only in NY!
Yes national appeal but the point is the same that there is no direct correlation between it and actual car sales. Are you saying Cadillac should stop that also.
Also I would argue that the ratio is the same. Cadillac may have spent a couple hundred thousand for convert existing space at the NYC head office but they spend millions on the racing program. The accessibility and viewership ratios are likely very similar.
And to an extent agree. If times get bad racing will be one of the first programs to go. At least there is some broad advertising from the racing but nothing but grinds and feeding someone’s ego trip with the coffee shop!
I’m not sure that most on here are understanding what Cadillac is doing. Cadillac is not using one dimensional marketing like you guys are using one dimensional views of how Cadillac should market their cars. Cadillac is finding new ways to market and bringing awareness to the brand rather directly or indirectly. The cars will be on display but surrounding them is more cosmopolitan type of atmosphere in marketing than anyone on here realize.
By now almost anyone who is familiar with the Escalade who looked it up on the website pretty much looked at the other Cadillacs also. The Escalade is one way to market Cadillac directly while the Cadillac House will market the brand directly and indirectly but will bring awareness to the brand. If no one is interested in the current model line-up, there is nothing Cadillac can do to convince the buyer but that does not mean Cadillac need not to find creative ways to market their brand.
Hopefully the successor models will be far greater than the current models and one of the reasons for Cadillac House is for customers to get ready for the future models rather the customers realize that or not. I would rather Cadillac do something now then wait to the last minute when the successor models come out.
In marketing, it is not about marketing towards that particular product but it is more about knowing what your customer is about, their interests and hobbies, their lifestyle, careers, livelihood and etc.
Build a really nice car that carries the heritage. Dont open an effing coffee shop! Jesus, what happened to Cadillac? Trying to be a Metro-sexual brand??? Seriously? And by the way, get rid of that UGLY front clip on the CTS and CT6. Need an front end that is designed to be a classic and has sustainability. I know that GM styling can do better. Joke is over. Make a car. Performance is great but jeeez. The XTS has a classic front clip.
I have re-read the article and I still do not get how siting in a corner coffee shop surrounded by the old and new Cadillacs is going to do anything in rebuilding their image across America .
The fact is most New Yorkers don’t even own a car , most use public transportation . And if you do own a car it costs a fortune to find a parking spot of your own .
Just what is an Ambassador , he’s not a salesman . Is this a new name for a waiter . There isn’t even a brochure sitting on any of the coffee tables ! Yet this space is suppose to convey the spirit of Cadillac with high end fashion and artwork .
I want Cadillac to succeed but this is a big waste of money . Sure it may be a drop in the bucket as far as the cost of setting up this place but JDN and Uwe are spending vital cash that should be spent elsewhere .
The fancy coffee, art works and a classy address are not the ways to polish a tarnished brand. Let’s work on residual value, fresh new styles, leading rather than following European brands and pick your clientele rather than shotgunning for customers.
One element of commonality in the preceding comments is frustration. That frustration stems in part from what Cadillac was historically to what is it now. But the “problem” is much more complex than is being characterized here. One only needs to watch television to see the virtual saturation of Japanese/German automotive brands that flood the market (and everything else for that matter). It is not just what Cadillac did or did not do to maintain its standing in the automotive market. A visit to Asia will demonstrate that most people there want American products but cannot get them for myriad reasons, not the least of which is a fundamentally uneven playing field.
Think back to just after WWII. The United States funded the reconstruction of both Japan and Europe. Neither have to spend billions on defense since we largely do that for them as well. Do you think that may help them kinda? So, yes, mistakes have been made but not to the degree that seems to characterize contemporary American thought.
Unfortunately, most thirty somethings could not care less about the history of all this. I am driving my seventh Cadillac and have always thought they look better and perform as good or better than the competition, but that is just me. The nation as a whole has something of an inferiority complex or one that is rooted in the past that has not kept pace with much of what is going on. In many ways, we have done it to ourselves. We can be as good as we want or as mediocre or less. It is up to us to effect change. In closing, I would just point out that at lease Cadillac has refrained from designing goofy human characteristics into the appearance of their vehicles as the Asian manufacturers seem to have done.