an american auto revolution … the need to put customers 1st

what a year it has been for american auto majors.  pundits have written about it six ways to sunday … and yet, i find something obviously absent in the dialog.  the customer.

we hear about restructuring plans, debt refinancing, labor negotiation, de-merger dynamics, green technology and other paths to promising breakthroughs.  but pray, where is the focus on the customer?!

3 obviousideas

i. wish vs. want: focus on building a brand that “people wish they could have”, not one that you hope “people will want” or “need”.  so, a chevy ’64 impala is not the same as an ’09 impala.  same for the chevy camaro.  classic examples of cars that ‘people wished they could have’ becoming ‘cars that the company wished people would want’.

ii. brand identity: focus on a product mix where all products are strongly aligned with the brand identity and help reinforce it.  so, a chevy corvette and a chevy aveo should never again have the same badge.   how about being careful about brand extensions and not trying to be ‘everything to everyone’?

iii. points-of-experience:  focus on the entire customer experience around the brand, from prospecting to post-sales service and support.  so, never again should a customer walk away from a dealership ‘feeling ripped off’.  how about more clarity and courtesy at the points-of-experience?  i think the new volkswagen cc ad promising carefree maintenance a-la bmw is a step in the right direction.

what do you think?

sai@obviousideas.com

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