What do Conan O’Brien, Old Spice, the Miami Heat and Buick all have in common? We bet you’re stumped. We’ll, they’re all on this year’s list of the hottest brands, compiled by the experts at Advertising Age.
No doubt you’ve heard of a few others on the list, like Glee, Groupon, Burberry, M&Ms and let’s not forget the iPad. But Buick wasn’t the only automaker on the list, with both Ford and Hyundai included for 2010.
There’s little doubt that you’ve heard about the amazing things happening at Hyundai and Ford, but Buick comes as more of a surprise. And yet Buick, yes Buick, is the fastest growing automotive brand in the U.S. So far this year sales are up a shocking 55 percent, with Buick now having posted 13 straight months of sales gains.
As for the other two, well, Ad Age recently named Ford its 2010 Marketer of the Year, while Hyundai took home that honor in 2009. In the midst of a recession, Hyundai grew quickly thanks to a significantly new lineup of products that in many cases leapfrogged the competition. At the same time, the new vehicles continued to be offered at traditional Hyundai prices.
In 2010, Hyundai’s sales rose at twice the industry average, at 21 percent. And when you take out fleet sales, Hyundai’s growth is actually 29 percent. Much of that success relies on the new Sonata mid-size sedan, which according to Kelly Blue Book was the 5th most searched new car for 2010, jumping 24 spots from total obscurity the year before.
While much of Ford’s success is due to good luck and smart planning, (like selling off its European luxury brands at the right time, which in part helped the Blue Oval to avoid a bailout), Ford can also be credited for a rollout of strong new products, not to mention impressive marketing of its SYNC, MyFord Touch and EcoBoost technologies, selling the American automaker as a progressive, green and tech-savvy brand. Like Hyundai, Ford also saw double-the-industry growth, with a total 23 percent gain for the year.