Approach to Developing Products
Mazda develops products that embody the attributes of its Zoom-Zoom brand statement. In line with the principles of “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom”, the Company is developing SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, which provides all customers who purchase Mazda vehicles with driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance. SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY was introduced to the market starting in 2011.
Product development is carried out in cooperation with the sales and after-sales service areas indicated below.
- ■ To reflect customer’s input about products, obtained in the sales area, in subsequent product development
- ■ To improve quality by swiftly dealing with the problems and giving feedback to product development with the help of after-sales service area
Responding to the Diverse Customer Needs
Mazda has been establishing a system to deliver products and services to customers in the most appropriate way taking into consideration the cultures and trends of each country and region. At its R&D centers in Japan, North America, Europe and China, Mazda gathers information about markets and customers around the globe. Through local testing, Mazda develops products and provides services to suit its customers’ wide-ranging needs.
To effectively enhance its brand awareness, Mazda focuses on promoting the understanding of the Mazda’s brand common policies and the Company’s spirit of product development and manufacturing rather than an awareness of individual models.
Examples of Initiatives
Mazda have set up communications that focus on promoting an understanding of the brand rather than an awareness of individual models. The Company has introduced an integrated slogan in key regions and is planning to improve brand awareness.
Slogans in key regions
Japan “Be a driver.”
North America “Game Changer”
Examples to Meet Specific Customer Needs
＜Research and Planning Conducted from a Female Perspective＞
To respond to the increasingly diverse needs of female drivers, a team composed of female members from various departments both in Japan and overseas conducts research on the vehicles which are convenient for themselves to use from female viewpoint.
＜Customizing Business (in Japan)＞
Believing that the development of vehicles serving people with specific needs is essential to a more open and accessible automotive society, Mazda produces a wide range of vehicle types, as described below.
|Vehicles for people with special needs||
In 1995, Mazda became the first Japanese automaker to launch a vehicle for people with special needs. It was developed with top priority placed on “ease of use and comfort for both care givers and receivers.” The Company has expanded the lineup to the i-Series comprising four types.
i-Series lineup (as of March 31, 2015)
|Instructional vehicles||Mazda offers Axela (Mazda3 overseas) instructional vehicles equipped with various unique features. As the first car that trainees drive in their life, it can help them to feel driving pleasure and to acquire correct driving techniques (with cumulative production reaching 10,000 units in June 2014).|
|Commercial and specially equipped vehicles||Mazda offers a wide commercial vehicle lineup to respond to various business needs. To satisfy highly specialized needs, the Company has developed the TESMA line, adapting the Bongo Van and Titan Truck for use as dry van trucks, refrigerator and freezer trucks, etc.|
|Customized vehicles||Mazda has developed special accessory parts in response to the diverse, highly personalized needs and preferences of customers. These accessories are released at the same time as every new model is introduced.|
Voices of the customers who purchased or test-drove Mazda vehicles are presented on the website (in Japanese only).
Basic Approach to Product Information, Display, and Advertising
Aiming to become a “brand” maintaining special bonds with its customers, Mazda promotes advertising activities. For product information and display, Mazda not only complies strictly with each law and regulation of each country and region, but also places strong emphasis on safety, human rights, environmental issues, and ethical standards, giving careful attention to information display and expression appropriate for a company that manufactures and sells automobiles. Moreover, Mazda conducts studies on advertising on a periodic basis so as to check whether information provided to customers is correct and understandable.
Explaining Product Features through Video and Computer Graphics (in Japan)
Mazda has introduced Visual IT Presentation (VIP) computer software, which is used at dealerships in Japan to provide customers with easily understandable explanations of products’ features and functions. The VIP tool uses video and animated computer graphics to clarify driving performance, safety performance, and other characteristics that are often difficult to explain adequately solely through oral communication in the showroom, thereby supporting visually understandable explanations.
Zoom-Zoom Customer Magazine
In October 2007 Mazda launched the customer magazine Zoom-Zoom, and is regularly distributing it to customers in about 60 countries. The magazine shares driving pleasure that Mazda vehicles bring and explores the exciting lifestyles of Mazda vehicle users. The magazine is packed with information based on a variety of themes in order to build stronger emotional bonds between Mazda and its customers. In 2011 and 2012, the magazine won the Best Automotive Title award at the APA International Content Marketing Awards in the UK.
Customer magazine Zoom-Zoom (2015 spring issue)
Co-Creation of Product Training by Maker and Distributor Staff
The advance training is offered to enable all sales staff to provide customers with the correct and detailed information they need at the launch of a new model. As part of the initiative to enhance brand value, the training is aimed at communicating the ideas and efforts employed in development and manufacturing, as well as their behind stories in addition to the basic information of functions and equipment about the new model. The training staff of distributors from all over the world, including those in Japan, gather and actively exchange opinions to “co-create” effective training programs for their sales staff.
In 2014 and 2015, in line with the launch of the new Demio/Mazda2, new CX-3, and new Roadster/MX-5, efforts have been made to strengthen communication between the Head Office and distributors/dealers. A cross-divisional approach by sales and customer service related divisions is taken for the training to achieve a better automotive lifestyle for customers.
Information Service for Customers through Websites
Through the Mazda’s Website, Mazda provides information for customers and various other stakeholders. Efforts have been made to enhance its usability to enable the website visitors to easily obtain the information they need. The contents are designed to communicate to many people, not only about the simple facts, but also about the underlying principles and philosophy. Also, the website is providing easily understandable information useful for customers at all stage from considering the purchase to the ownership of their vehicle.
Mazda also uses social network services, such as Facebook, blogs, and Twitter, to enhance communication with its customers. The Company opened an official Facebook page in FY March 2012, receiving many support messages and feedback from car owners. As of March 31, 2015, Mazda has received about 220 thousand “Likes” (number of fans) on its Japanese page and about 20 thousand on its English page. Messages to Facebook are reflected in the Company’s product development and other activities.
Mazda Official Website
Development of Driving Support (in Japan)
The Mazda’s unique driver support system, Intelligent-Drive Master (i-DM), was introduced in Japan and equipped to eight models. This system supports safe, fuel-efficient, and comfortable driving for both a driver and passengers. For models released after the new Axela (Mazda3 overseas) in 2013, the system was modified to enable drivers to view detailed driving information on the center display.
The i-DM is highly valued for its function of supporting drivers in learning smooth driving to prevent children being car sick, and has won the 8th Kids Design Award “Prime Minister’s Prize”.
Enhancing Brand Value through Motor Sports
MMazda positions motor sports as an opportunity for many customers to experience “driving pleasure”, and assists promoting participatory motor sports events that are open to many ordinary people. Various events for multiple needs are offered for everyone from beginners to advanced drivers can participate with confidence. Examples of events are: lectures on basic driving positions for safe driving, lessons to learn advanced techniques useful in daily driving, races in which everyone from beginners to advanced drivers can participate, and professional races for drivers seeking to acquire higher skills.
In Japan, Mazda supports the “Women in Motor Sport” initiative promoted by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) and JAF (Japan Automobile Federation), which aims at supporting women seeking to improve their driving skills and participate in motor sport events. In April 2015, the Company, in cooperation with Ms. Keiko Ihara*1, launched the Mazda Women in Motorsport Project 2015. For around six months, the project has offered opportunities for women to receive driving training and participate in car races.
*1 Asian representative member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission
Training vehicle provided for the Mazda Women in Motorsport Project 2015
Activities by Mazda Fans
Events such as fans getting together to enjoy driving around circuit are becoming activated. Mazda, participating the events, is sharing the philosophy embedded in Mazda vehicles with fans. The Company also use these opportunities to listen to hear valuable opinions.
Mazda Fan Festa 2014
One of the largest gatherings of Mazda fans in Japan, held once a year since 2013. It is hosted by Okayama International Circuit and co-sponsored by Mazda.
Mazda. communication 2015 in Mazda Turnpike Hakone
Held in April 2015, participated in by 120 Mazda car (mainly Axela/ Mazda3) owners. Mazda fans planned and operated this event. The participants drove on the Mazda Turnpike Hakone, a driving course for which Mazda acquired the naming right.