November 09, 2017
A group of students from the Sigmund Weis School of Business got out of the classroom recently to see how luxury brand marketing works in the real world.
The group of 14, all luxury brand marketing and management majors, traveled to New Jersey to tour Lamborghini Paramus and McLaren Bergen County. The car dealerships are part of the Prestige Family of Fine Cars, a third-generation, family-owned and operated business founded in 1947. The company operates dealerships in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
There, students learned what goes into selling luxury items.
First-year student Caitlin Daly, of Chester Springs, Pa., said her biggest take-away from the experience was the importance of customer relationships to the success of the business.
"I learned a lot about how the companies maintain their current customers and how much effort goes into customer relationships," Daly said. "It goes past the customer's interaction with the salesman to the technicians calling every night to tell the customer how an inspection or repairs are going."
Daly was surprised to learn from McLaren general manager Jeff Drajin that they don't consider other luxury brand automobiles their competition, but rather yachts, vacation homes or even helicopters.
"We heard of a customer who did not enjoy his experience with a salesman, so instead of purchasing a Lamborghini he bought a yacht," Daly said. "This showed me that to market to customers, you must understand that their product is not a necessity, but a want."
The experience was spearheaded by Susquehanna alumnus and member of Susquehanna's Board of Trustees Martin Pinter '98.
Pinter conducts business with the dealership and thought a visit there would give students a unique perspective into how businesses manage their luxury brands and clients. He hopes the experience paves the way for future internship opportunities.
"I think it's extremely important to seize these opportunities for current students because you're actually reinvesting back into the [Susquehanna] brand," Pinter said. "When you make the current degree stronger, your own degree is stronger."