Creating Collectability – 3 Steps for Today’s Automotive Designers

Target Marketing

In our previous post, What Makes a Car Truly Classic?, we discussed the design elements that have made a few makes and models true to their own style and unique design. So, what can we do today knowing what has made some designers of the past so successful? In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to identify opportunities for creating timeless autos that can be treasured generations from now.

To start, every classic auto has something that triggers an emotional connection with it. Something nostalgic. Something unique. Something that ignites a feeling in the driver that can be felt long after they’ve experienced it. In order to discover the demand for features that can invoke such a reaction, you need to do your homework.


Market ResearchIn order to connect with your target market, you need to do some research. Identify what makes them tick. What are their hobbies? What are their color preferences? What elements of quality can’t be compromised? Start by determining who your target market will be. If you consider the classics of today’s time, many of those treasures were released when today’s seniors or baby-boomer generation were young. What was the first car they drove? What was their dream car when they were 16? What was their favorite pastime?

Now, consider the same for your concept. Is this going to be a car that is affordable to today’s youth? Or is it something so extraordinary that even if it is out of their price range they can appreciate it just the same?

Step 1- Identify your target market.

Once you’ve decided for whom you will be designing this auto, next you need to determine how to connect with them. Is it going to be a technologically advanced car that has groundbreaking UI and modern styling? Or will it be something more about accommodating their hobbies? Are they dog lovers who need a clean, smooth and safe way to transport their dog children? Are they skiers or snowboarders that need a new way to transport their gear? Are they young parents with a brood of little ones that they’d like to be able to easily interact with, care for and check on? In order to determine the answers to these questions, start polling. Go to the places where your target market spends their time, and ask questions. Create a survey online and use social media to get some responses. Ask some people to participate in a focus group that can provide feedback and new ideas.

Step 2 – Research your target market.

Now that you have the data, the time has come to deliver on their desires and requests. Perhaps it’s a new material for the interior that doesn’t stain or that is extra cozy. Or maybe the windows need to be lower or higher to accommodate children in the backseat. Or maybe the exterior could create a new example of chic for that stylish mother of 3. Whatever it is, you need to have a consistency in your design, inside-out, that inspires your market to feel that sense of nostalgia and excitement every time they drive it, or years from now, when they see it on the road. In order for it to be collectible it needs to be unique, it needs to have a following, and it needs to inspire.

Step 3 – Deliver what they ask for.

Now that we’ve discussed a few steps you can take to determine what the next classic car should be, our next article in this series will cover: Getting Buy-In on Fresh Ideas and New Concepts.


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