In May 2009, Subaru introduced the Forester to the world.
With an all-new, high-tech interior and the ability to run on batteries, the car was an instant hit.
But the Foresters weren’t just a car to get by.
Subaru was building a serious, mainstream product that could rival any luxury car on the market.
But, as the car’s popularity grew, so did the company’s management, and the product struggled to make the transition from a niche to mainstream.
“Subaru was in a weird place,” says Andrew McLeod, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto who has written about the company for years.
“It was sort of trying to create a brand and to be relevant to people who were really buying into it.”
Subaru’s internal crisis had nothing to do with the Forests’ appearance.
In fact, it was the company trying to make money off of its cars.
And while the company has changed its marketing strategy, its current products remain fundamentally the same: cheap cars with cheap technology that appeal to affluent buyers.
The company’s biggest mistake was that it didn’t build a car that could compete on price alone.
“The key to success in a company like Subaru is you can’t compete on value alone,” McLeod says.
Subaru’s marketing strategy didn’t take into account that many people, including some of its own employees, had no interest in buying a car.
So the company decided to focus on what was most important: selling more cars.
Its biggest mistake, however, was that the company didn’t make the switch from a car company to a mass-market brand.
Instead, it relied on the same outdated marketing methods it used to sell its older vehicles.
Subaru built a car with a premium, luxurious interior that was only slightly more expensive than a Ford Mustang.
Its best marketing strategy was to appeal to the middle class.
“If you go to a Subaru dealership, you’ll see the same thing all the time: a really good price and the best interior, but with more options and more comfort,” says McLeod.
Subaru used that same strategy with the first-generation Forester.
“We wanted to get into the luxury car market first, then we wanted to be a mass market brand,” says Ken Maes, a Subaru spokesman.
That’s when Subaru realized it needed to reinvent itself from the ground up.
It needed to find a new name for the brand, to develop a new marketing strategy.
And it needed a new way to sell cars to the masses.
“What we needed to do is take Subaru as a whole and make it a car brand,” Maes says.
That meant changing how the Forets were sold.
Subaru needed to get the message out on the roads.
The Foresters were the companys first mass-produced car, which meant the car companies had a lot of explaining to do.
The car companies knew that the Forest would appeal to both luxury and the middle-class.
They also knew that many Americans didn’t care about cars.
Subaru wanted to do a better job of marketing to those people, so it hired a well-known media consultant, John McDaniel, to create brand images and videos.
That strategy paid off, with the car company reaching a million people a week during the recession.
The marketing firm also worked closely with the company that produced the Foresta and introduced it to a broader audience.
But for Subaru, the success of the Foresteers didn’t come from creating a car like the one it had before.
Subaru also had to learn how to get people to care about its brand.
That first car wasn’t enough.
Subaru tried to market the Forestras to a broad range of customers.
Subaru would introduce the Foreston in the United States and the Foreman in the U.K., then sell them in Japan and Europe.
The new cars had different styling cues.
They had different materials.
And they had different colors.
In the U and Europe, they were labeled “Subarus,” and in Japan they were called “Suburban.”
The Forester’s styling cues were also changing, as Subaru redesigned its front fascia and the rear bumper.
But while the Forestreets were getting a fresh coat of paint, Subaru was also trying to stay true to the brand’s roots.
Subaru introduced its first hybrid-powered car in 2010.
The first hybrid Subaru hybrid car was the Forestar Hybrid.
But as the company learned more about hybrid technology, it decided to make a more powerful car.
The next year, Subaru announced a new all-electric car, the Crosstrek, which debuted in 2017.
The Crosstreks, like the ForeStras, were designed to appeal only to the wealthy.
And as Subaru learned more, it also became more successful in its marketing efforts.
The problem was that Subaru’s new cars didn’t appeal to many of its existing customers.
The only people who really wanted to buy a Subaru were the