DEARBORN – Jim Farley, executive vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service and Lincoln, kicked off the first of six special employee-focused Lincoln brand sessions Tuesday to a full-house within the World Headquarters auditorium.
The presentations continue on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and are designed to share important information regarding the reinvention of the Lincoln brand with employees.
“My Dad was a Lincoln man, bought a new Lincoln every year,” said Farley. According to Farley, what his father liked about Lincoln years ago was the understated elegance the brand delivered, the unique features on each new model year and the superior service he received at his local dealership – all facets the Lincoln team is working to improve upon as part of the brand’s renaissance.
“Transforming a luxury brand is completely different than the mainstream business,” said Farley. “You can’t improve the brand quickly, because the brand isn’t about product attributes, it’s about something much deeper. It’s about how someone feels about that logo. And that takes time.”
In addition to reiterating the importance of patience, Farley also explained that globally the luxury vehicle industry is vibrant and growing, providing a formidable stage for new Lincoln products to thrive within. China, with its growing middle class and demand for luxury products, also is expected to play a significant role in the future sales success of Lincoln.
Matt VanDyke, director, Global Lincoln Marketing, Sales and Service, outlined how Lincoln plans to appeal to premium clients and elevate the perception of the Lincoln brand with each new vehicle launch.
“You all know Quality, Green, Safe and Smart and those are the drivers of favorable opinion for the mass market,” said VanDyke. “But in the premium industry the drivers are a little bit different; they are Quality, Design and Personal Service.”
VanDyke explained that quality is about craftsmanship and dependability and noted the Lincoln MKZ’s recent J.D. Power and Associates Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) award in the best compact premium category was proof Lincoln is reaching design goals.
“And finally, where we have a real opportunity to differentiate ourselves is through personal service,” said VanDyke introducing some of the ways Lincoln will exceed client expectations from a service perspective with features such as Lincoln Concierge.
The presentation also included a look at the next new vehicle coming from Lincoln later this year.
Mark Albrant, a Ford customer service representative, attended the presentation and appreciated getting more insight into the future of Lincoln. “I think the big thing, outside of seeing the plan and what’s coming, was understanding all the different elements of the Lincoln plan,” said Albrant who was impressed by the heightened level of customer service Lincoln clients will enjoy whether inside the customized Lincoln dealership or working with the Lincoln Concierge researching from home.
Other employees attended to find out more about specific Lincoln features, such as the Lincoln Black Label collection. Sue Morgan, Ford network planner, came to learn more about Lincoln Black Label. “I heard a lot about it today and it was really exciting,” said Morgan. She added that the presentation also gave her a clearer picture of Lincoln’s future products and had her thinking of which vehicles would fit the needs of various friends and family members.