Younger buyers wanted.
The Ford Mustang isn't going anywhere, unlike the Fusion and the rest of the Blue Oval's sedan and hatchback lineup. But, the original pony car still faces a problem that must be resolved despite it being the best-selling sports coupe in the world for six years straight. Last May, we reported about Ford's concern about the increasing age of the average Mustang buyer over the past decade. The goal needs to be to attract younger buyers. Ford has studied the problem and it's ready to take action.
Speaking to Muscle Cars and Trucks, Mustang Marketing Manager Jim Owens acknowledged "the segment has shrunk over the years, [but] there's a lot less size of the pie of people who are sports car intenders. So as that pie shrinks, what do you do? It's more experiential. It's getting them into the product to get them to feel what it does."
Attracting Millennials is key, especially since they're now of the age when some may have extra money to spend. Owens specifically pointed out the Mustang Millennial Club as a great example. Celebrity endorsements, such as from Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Joey Lagano, will continue to be a core marketing component.
"We went down to Gridlife ATL in 2019 with Vaughn Gittin Jr," said Owens. "We did Velocity at Laguna Seca… we like Gridlife and other opportunities that bring in other activities surrounding it." Ford is also experimenting with combining the Mustang with so-called lifestyle events like a balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico and an air show in Sacramento, California.
"You bring somebody in who has an affinity towards something specific, and then you bring in and bolt on the vehicle side of it. Because that affinity group is already motivated enough to do an activity, they're willing to be engaged."
Lowering the average Mustang buyers' age is an issue that won't be solved overnight. It involves experimenting with new marketing strategies and closely monitoring what works and what doesn't. Hopefully, Ford will gain the necessary knowledge by the time the seventh-generation Mustang, internally called the S650, arrives later next year.