Positioning Differentiated from Existing Luxury
A dream that becomes a reality, 'Dream Ahead' ― The luxury pursued by Lucid sets itself apart from traditional luxury brands. While traditional luxury presents an image of conservative and authoritarian wealth, splendor, and extravagance, the luxury pursued by Lucid is expressed as modern elegance, ethics, sustainability, respect for diversity, and praise for innovation. Its innovation is described as being about ‘dreaming bigger’ and ‘building the dream’. To this end, they emphasize that companies, as customers with social status and influence, need to make more meaningful choices for a sustainable world and show respect for human diversity and an ethical stance. These are very special, intangible values that are also awarded to owners of Lucid products.
In order to specifically promote the above concepts, Lucid operates the ERG programs of ‘Black at Lucid', 'Pride at Lucid', 'Sustainability at Lucid', 'Veterans at Lucid', and 'Women at Lucid’. Let's look at a few things: 'Veterans at Lucid' is a group made up of veterans that involves creating employment, leadership development and career growth opportunities for veterans and securing community initiatives. 'Women at Lucid' works to create new opportunities for women in automotive and technology, and more. Regarding talent recruitment, the company provides equal employment opportunities regardless of race, skin color, origin, country, age, religion, disability, gender identity, marital status, etc. Asian or black models often appear in various touchpoint advertisements. But that's not too much. The company is appropriately appealing to the market with class that respects diversity and equality of opportunity instead of extreme PCism.
Diverse and Active Brand Communication
The part of Lucid's business strategy that we value most is its omnidirectional brand communication strategy. Based on a clear understanding of the target, it effectively and authentically conveys the ‘tangible value of innovative technology’ and the ‘intangible value pursued’. Also, in that it focuses its budget and resources on the company's vision without being swayed by market noise, I see great potential in it (since all of the company's activities inform its brand). Such initiatives are difficult to implement unless strong leadership is provided based on the trust of investors and members. This is especially true for brands that are just entering the market. Even consumers who have no experience driving a vehicle already know the performance and technical value of Mercedes-Benz or Porsche. However, the true values of a brand are more clearly conveyed and assimilated through brand communications such as private CRM or ownership programs centered on targets or customers.
Looking at specific brand communication, the company held a company-wide event for the delivery of the 'Lucid Air Dream Edition', a limited edition model created to commemorate its first EV product in 2021. Through this, they have provided thoughtful and wonderful memories for customers and their families who waited for Lucid Air for a long time. These activities naturally increase customers’ brand loyalty. They also did not miss out on communicating with car enthusiasts around the world. At the 2022 Goodwood Festival, the company participated with 'Ben Collins', a famous opinion leader known for 'The Stig', and recorded the fastest mass-produced car time lap with Lucid Air, and also participated in Monterey Car Weeks, Munich International Motor Show, etc.
The company's communication about pop culture and social issues was also good. At the SXSW conference, CEO Peter Rawlinson appeared as a speaker, shared insights on humanity's future transportation and sustainability, and conducted vehicle protocols with sponsors at the world-famous Universal Music and Academy Awards. For Christmas 2022, the company held a Toy Drive for child patients at LA Children's Hospital and also sponsored The Women of DEF JAM for women around the world. The company is actively reaching out to the public with internal story-telling as well. Major examples include the Driving Ambition campaign for members' pride and Tech-Talk, which communicates their innovative technologies in an easy-to-understand manner. Besides, appealing to their capabilities and approaching them with sincerity through opening studios and service centers, software, design, materials, GUI, etc. seems to be an excellent strategic approach.
New Brands and Product Launch Perspectives
The experience or evaluation of the first product that a new brand launches into the market soon becomes imprinted in the evaluation of the entire brand (company). Because Lucid Group is very concerned about brand image and reputation, it has no choice but to launch a (flagship) product that condenses all the values of the brand, and because of its luxury positioning, it has no choice but to pay more attention to performance and finishing quality. This situation makes faster mass production and delivery difficult. Considering the cash burn of new companies, diversifying products (vehicles) is a strategy that is not realistically possible right now.
Instead, the company is deploying a strategy of strengthening the 'spec lineup' of Lucid Air, its first product and flagship model that carries its superior technology. Since this flagship sedan is actually closest to the Lucid brand, increasing contact points for this typical product is a much more advantageous strategy for building a luxury brand image. Of course, business expansion is the company's manifest destiny, so the company is also preparing to diversify its products. At the end of 2022, 'Project Gravity', a J-segment (SUV), and 'development of a low-priced sedan' were announced to the public, and this is going to be launched in earnest in the second half of 2023. The company also offers a 'stealth look' exterior and various leisure accessories as optional features, and further demonstrates its competitive edge in software such as Dream-Drive which is the autonomous driving system, mobile apps, and infotainment UX/UI/GUI.
· Lucid Air Dream Edition: Limited production to commemorate the launch
· Lucid Air Grand Touring: Longest range version
· Lucid Air Touring: The most popular balance version
· Lucid Air Pure: A reasonably priced version
· Lucid Air Sapphire: High-performance luxury sports sedan
Competitive Edge Leading the Tech Race
Various concepts that describe a brand include 'two-leg'. In this section, I will briefly discuss only the 'technical aspect' of this concept. It means that brand permanence, apart from seeking intangible value, requires constant technological innovation of the product. Lucid Motors has a significant edge in the EV technology competition in this respect. The electric motor used in the Lucid Air vehicles is the smallest on the planet but has the most power, and boasts the highest battery efficiency among all existing EV companies. Thanks to this, Lucid shows battery efficiency that is 9% better than Tesla's Model S and a whopping 40% better than Mercedes' EQS. Additionally, because it is equipped with components that take up less space and a battery pack with a smaller capacity, Lucid Air is the size of an 'E segment' and has the internal space of an 'S segment'.
Like Tesla, Lucid has succeeded in bringing most of the manufacturing process in-house. Not only this integrated manufacturing process, but also software-level integration such as the OTA system, Dream-Drive, and Sanctuary™ by former Apple executive Mike Bell, shows innovative quality and perfection. Ultimately, it is the role of software to directly provide customers with a consistent experience of the excellence of Lucid's various hardware and technologies. And, having such an integrated system has a much greater meaning from the perspective of integration to promote relentless, true innovation, rather than simply lowering manufacturing costs.
[Key EV Technologies]
· Selected as the 1st-generation battery supplier for Formula E1
· A converted EV van engaged in a drag competition with BMW i8 and Dodge Viper
· 0 to 60 mile time of 2.94 seconds, 1/4 mile time of 11.3 seconds
· Air Prototype 1000 horsepower, 0 to 60 miles 2.5 seconds
· Single-block glass roof unveiled
· Selected as a 2nd-generation battery supplier for Formula E1
· World's longest driving range of 832km, 1/4 mile 9.9 seconds
· Wunderbox (900V, 32km per minute, 483km with 20 minutes charging)
· World’s first Dolby Atmos sound system unveiled
· Lucid Air's drag coefficient of 0.21cd was the highest in the world at the time
· Lucid Air is the world's first based on EPA standards with the longest mileage of 837km.
· Lucid Air selected by Motor Trend as the Car of the Year
· Selected by Green Car Journal as the Car of the Year
· ‘Sapphire as Lucid Air's 1,234 horsepower high-performance model
· Driving range 687km, maximum speed 330km/h
· 1/4 mile 8.95 seconds, 0-100 seconds 1.89 seconds
· Winner of World Car Award in the luxury car category