2018 RAV4 Analysis & Marketing Mix Strategies

According to Forbes magazine. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 vehicle is the most popular Toyota model in the United States market. In recent years, the SUVs segment has continued to establish itself as an important part of the auto industry and this has led to increased sales of the 2018 RAV4. Approximately 427, 170 units of the Rav4 were sold in its first year of launching making it the bestselling vehicle in 2018 (  ). The consumer behavior of a typical customer for this type of product is characterized by carrying out detailed consideration and evaluation considering that it does require a huge financial investment. Thus there consumer always tries to evaluate the need for the product and how it will meet their needs. The aim is to always to get the best deal possible. According to (  ),  one key factor that has influenced consumer behavior in the United States markets to purchase the 2018 RAV4 has been its economic advantage when it comes to fuel consumption as compared to other vehicles in the same category. Just like any other typical consumer, most customers in the United States always have to adapt to changing economic situations underlying why there has been increased demand for the 2018 RAV4. In addition, considering that we are living in the age of technology and what a typical consumer wants is a product that is in line with digitization, the 2018 RAV4 meets this demand by incorporating high tech features. The car has various technological features aimed at improving the experience and safety of the consumer by reducing the probability of the model being involved in an accident as well as reducing the damages in the event of an accident. This works well with the psychology of most consumers. As noted by Maslow in his theory of human motivation, all individuals are motivated to satisfy needs and safety is one of the key needs that are consumers strive to meet. Also, the influence inconspicuous conspicuous consumption in the typical behavior of consumers of the 2018 RAV4 is one that cannot be ignored. For most customers buying such a model at times results from the need to make statements about economic wellbeing to friends and foes. A classy model such as the 2018 RAV4 is a good way publicly displaying economic power and in most cases, it highlights that the customer is doing well in terms of finances.

Marketing Mix Strategies for the 2018 RAV4

The marketing mix concept brings together four key aspects that comprise the product, price, promotion, and place.


There is no doubt that the 2018 RAV4 stands out as a well-designed, comfortable as well as fuel-efficient and safe product that efficiently meets the customer’s mobility need. The model is well developed and offers consumers a wide range of interesting features. As earlier noted, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 comes as a fuel-efficient model, hence making it easy to market among the general public. It boasts of about 34/30/32 mpg and offers about 194 horsepower with a 2.5l four-cylinder engine (  ). These aspects make it one of the most attractive models in America’s SUVs market. In addition, the conventionally shaped profile gives the RAV4 an upper hand in terms of packaging and accommodation. Passenger’s comfort is enhanced by the car’s spacious legroom and headroom as well as the reclining feature for the rear bench.

While the 2018 RAV4 does not stand out as dynamically exciting as compared to other SUV products in the market, it scores high when it comes to driving comfort hence underlying some of the reasons as to why the product has had such a high number of sales since its launch. The car does not have suspension noise and can easily navigate through rough roads without generating much noise. On the other hand, some of the downsides associated with the RAV4 and which continue to provide challenges in terms of marketing and advertising include low-quality material makes on the inside and bland looks. The material used to make the interior of the car appear to be prone to wear and tear. Besides, a majority of the car parts appear to be pretty bland and predictable design themes that are likely to put away potential customers. The sporty trim level does little to make up for these shortcomings.


Taking into account the competitive nature of the American SUVs market, the promotional campaign adapted for the marketing of the 2018 RAV4 has aggressiveness. As outlined by the manufacturing company, the main focus on marketing the RAV4 has been on advertising whereby the media outlets with a huge following in the country are utilized (  ). This approach has been key in promoting the RAV4 as it increases the chances of the advertisement being seen by many potential customers. While this approach in most cases does prove to be expensive, the chance to market the RAV4 to a wide range of customers puts it in a good position to compete in the SUVs market.

The producers of the 2018 RAV4 have also focused on public relations as a part of its promotional strategies by carrying out various community projects in different states. This includes taking part in charitable organizations and offering promotions to target customers. This strategy goes a long way in making potential customers appreciate the role of the RAV4 thus leading to brand loyalty. Through these strategies, individuals who benefit from the project carried out by the model end up acting promoting the car through word of mouth by highlight some of the positives in which the project sponsored by the car has touched their lives. This type of marketing is cost-efficient as it enables potential customers to be aware of the product without the parent company having to invest a lot of money in the projects they sponsor within the community or as compared to other forms of advertisements. While the promotional strategies of the RAV4 have mainly focused on social platforms, this form of marketing presents a few weakness especially when it comes to targeting aged customers who are not accustomed to digital media. Thus this group of customers is likely to be locked out and remain unaware of the product ( ).


In terms of making the product available to customers, the producers of the 2018 RAV4 have set up distribution channels in different states for easy access. This strategy is facilitated by the presence of a large management team that works to oversee the whole distribution process (  ). To ensure the effectiveness of the whole process, the producers of the model only recruit managers who have attained a specified educational level as well as marketing experience gained from previous operations. What this does is that it creates an effective workforce contributing to an excellent marketing strategy as a result of the consumer engagement process. One essential way of getting a customer satisfied is by ensuring that they are able to get the desired product at a convenient location in addition to dealing with a workforce that has a good understanding of the product the customer wishes to purchase. The marketers of the RAV4 have figured this out excellently and worked to ensure that the product is available and customers the best services. As explained by the 2018 Toyota RAV4 sales manager, interactions with customers at different branches makes it easy to a lot about the consumers’ tastes and preferences (  ). It is also easy to understand the customer’s overall feelings regarding the RAV4. This marketing approach is beneficial one because the information collected at the different branches is used to assess what customers want and in the process, strategies can be devised to help close the gap that exists.

While the presence of a large management team and establishing numerous branches have enabled the marketers of the 2018 RAV4 to ensure that the product is available to customers at convenient locations,  having such large management and numerous distribution centers makes it difficult to initiate efficient operations. This is because in such a case, there tends to be a lot of bureaucracy in each department. An issue touching on the product has to go through a number of stages before it is agreed upon. In most cases, this turns out detrimental to the marketing of the product. Also taking into account the fact that the field of marketing is dynamic and keeps on changing from time to time, there is a need to ensure some level of flexibility when it comes to decision making. Allowing the process to drag on as a result of lengthy consultations might lead to marketing failure.


While the pricing of most products in the market is determined by factoring in the cost price and desired price, the marketers of the 2018 RAV4 have employed a slightly different approach. The final selling price for the car is determined by market mechanism and the consumers. This is a good approach since it gives the RAV4 a competitive advantage over other similar products in the market.  In addition, marketers of the model use a pricing strategy that focuses on creating the essence of quality in the minds of the consumers by having different prices for the car. The price depends on the features and the state in which the consumer buys the product (  ). The more the features in a selected model the higher the price. This is a good approach since sellers of the product are able to capitalize on the economic abilities of its different types of customers. Considering that the U.S economy is full of disparities with both high income and low-income earners, the pricing strategy adopted by the 2018 RAV4 provides an opportunity for the product to capture a large market share. This is an important approach considering that customer’s choices are dependent on their social values and ability to purchase (  ).

Analysis of the 2018 RAV4 segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning


The concept of segmentation refers to the process of subdividing a large heterogeneous market into homogenous subgroups of people who share similar needs based on the target market (  ). While there exist different forms of segmentation, the segmentation for the 2018 RAV4 is based on psychological needs. This implies that the market for the car model is grouped based on the lifestyle and personality characteristics of the potential customers (  ). Therefore the 2018 RAV4 is made for the family size and in particular people in the high-class grouping as well as those with high income and have a sporty attitude. It aims to meet the needs of individuals who want to create a perception of being viewed as successful in their lives.

Taking into account the fact that the car has a 6-speed manual transmission, 2,690 millimeters bases, and 2.0 L gasoline engine, it is aimed at customers who seek to enjoy the feeling of a sports car like drive in an ordinary SUV. Based on the high number of sales recorded since the launch of the 2018 Toyota RAV4, it is fair to point out that the model’s approach to psychological segmentation has been a successful one so far. Grouping the market based on lifestyle and personality characteristics seems to have worked in favor of the model and while incorporating other forms of segmentation such as behavioral and profile groping might have further increased the sale for the RAV4, the model has done well as compared to competitors in the same sector. As earlier outlined, the RAV4 was the bestselling vehicle in the SUV category with more than 400,000 units of the model being sold in the United States market (  ).


When it comes to the aspect of targeting, the 2018 Toyota RAV4 has employed a very effective strategy of focusing on customers who need advanced off-road and performance features with a medium-price SUV. The model in particular targets the younger generation male consumers who need the feel of a sports car-like drive in an ordinary SUV. The power and torque of the 2018 RAV4 engine reflect the consumers’ need for a powerful yet fuel-efficient engine with a good range. In addition, The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is targeted for a market category of consumers who need a compact car that offers the full benefit of SUVs such as high cargo capacity, four-wheel drive options, and high visibility while having other salient benefits like fuel economy, great design, and affordability. The success of this strategy is evident in the top performance of the model in the American SUV market in 2018 and 2019.

Also by targeting successful males with an active lifestyle and who are in need of a safe compact SUV that is able to make them stand out from the rest while at the same time providing efficiency, the RAV4 markets itself as model that is in a position to meet the needs of this specific segment at an affordable price. Also as explained in the model’s website, the car targets the males in age of 25 to 64 years who are either single, married, young parent or retirees. The key shortcoming evident in the 2018 RAV4 targeting strategy is the fact that the car seems to focus solely on professionals and successful individuals with an active lifestyle and who like to take part in expensive outdoor activities such as golfing and biking. While this is a good strategy, it looks out a considerable percentage of potential customers especially low-income earners who want a model with similar features but at an affordable price. Besides, the 2018 RAV4 stands out more as a vehicle that is targeted at individuals who need to frequently move around the city especially for recreational activities implying that that model is not suitable for customers who travel for long-distance or love to go for adventurous activities outside the city.

Recommendation to Improve the Marketing Strategies for the 2018 RAV4


The RAV4 should extend additional benefits such as after-sales services and warranties to its customers for purchasing the model.

The marketers of the model should also improve its branding to make it more visually appealing and thus attract more customers. The current model is quite bland.’


The marketers of the 2018 Toyota RAV4 should introduce discounts and allowances when marketing the model. This can be achieved by lowering the prices of the product for a short period to attract customers and gain market share.

The producers of the product should also consider implementing psychological pricing when marketing the model as a means of attracting more customers.


The 2018 RAV4 should open make use of social media platforms as locations of selling the model. This will enable the car marketers to generate more sales. In addition, product sellers should ensure that their website is more user-friendly and easier to use.

The RAV4 should also make use of large retailers through personal selling.


The RAV4 should come up with an advertising strategy aimed at providing a consistent message to customers on all media platforms

The model should also focus on making use of big data analytics to analyze and understand the needs of its customers.


It is clear that the Sport Utility Vehicle market in the United States has experienced constant growth over the years, with an expected compounded annual growth rate of 11.5% by 2020. Dominant in this market is Toyota’s cross-over compact SUV, the Toyota RAV4, designed to be a fuel- economy four-wheel drive. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 represents the fifth-generation model of the SUVs. Approximately 427, 170 units of the Rav4 were sold in its first year of launching making its bestselling vehicle in 2018. Just like any other typical consumer, most customers in the United States always have to adapt to changing economic situations underlying why there has been increased demand for the 2018 RAV4. The marketing mix strategy for the 2018 RAV4 brings together a combination of four key components that include product, price, place, and promotion. In terms of product, the 2018 RAV4 stands out as a well-designed, comfortable as well as fuel-efficient and safe product that efficiently meets the customer’s mobility need. The consumer behavior of a typical customer for this type of product is characterized by carrying out detailed consideration and evaluation considering that it does require a huge financial investment. Market segmentation, targeting, and positioning provide a consumer-centric approach to marketing, which enables the manufacturer to tailor products for the specific needs of the consumers. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a classic example of this approach in its successful attempt to provide automotive customers with unique SUV capabilities that meet their needs. While the car model continues to do well in the market, there is a need to continue improving the strategies used in marketing the product.





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