Speaking at the Marketing 360 event hosted by Automotive News, Ikeda said that Acura’s messaging went down the wrong road as rivals like Lexus and Infiniti emerged as serious rivals.
“We started to chase what was in, what the market was talking about more than staying true to ourselves,” Ikeda said. “When you start benchmarking and looking at everything else, instead of looking introspectively, is where you lose your way.
“We’re a lot more truthful [now] to who we are and what we’re trying to be. I think it’s a growing pain we went through,” Ikeda added.
Ikeda previously worked in Acura’s design department but assumed his current position in 2015. Under his lead, the automaker adopted its ‘Precision Crafted Performance’ mantra and has put greater emphasis on its design, most notably with the Precision Concept from the Detroit Auto Show back in 2016.
At the same time, Acura launched a series of new advertisements with actor Michael B. Jordan acting as narrator. Acura wanted to paint itself as a vibrant and enthusiastic company and did just that with these ads.
This new advertising direction continues despite the brand’s sales falling since their 2015 peak.