How Toyota Followed Baby Boomers


Last week I presented on a panel with Professor Arturo Perez-Reyes (UC Berekeley) at an event in San Francisco we put on with Jupiter Research. One story the Professor shared about Toyota was something I hadn't heard before…

He said that Toyota followed the baby boomer generation as a market. They looked at the demographics and spending power of that generation. I think it went something like this… They started with the Corolla, then Celica for when they got into college, then Corona/Camry, then launched Lexus when they had discretionary income. They followed the 'bulge' of spending the baby boomers had.

It's an interesting way to think about the markets you're going after. Is it big? how will it evolve? How will it effect your product strategy?

4 Responses

  1. The question about your evolving target is a great one. However, GM had a similar strategy if you look at how they set up their brands to match the consumer’s life style(aka spending power): Chevy -> Buick -> Olds -> Caddy. The difference is that the Toyota execution on quality and style exceeded that of GM.
    So just knowing them and the different stages of evolution while a good thing, executing on that knowledge is the one that moves the needle.

  2. Tom O'Brien says:

    That really sounds like a story made up ex-post facto – but it may be true. Who knows. Fascinating if true.

  3. Engago team says:

    So what’s next for Toyota and their Baby Boomer market?
    Selling 2 iQ cars (world smallest 4 seater) as the couples got divorced after the children left home when the house bought with a subprime mortgage ruined their finances?
    Predicting the future is the most difficult.
    Telling the history is easy.

  4. It’s all about knowing your niche. But that is getting harder controling it all online. Great post – thanks.

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