"So Is Pete A Vegan?"
I feel like I'm the guy behind the glass wall in a P&G focus group everytime I give someone a ride in my new Hybrid vehicle. Last Friday night, while driving a few folks to an evening event, I overheard the wife of a friend, seated in the back seat, make a passing remark: "So is Pete a Vegan?" A VEGAN! Such are the perception barriers and stereotypes one must overcome when putting a car like the Civic Hybrid on the streets. Then again, that's also the challenge we embrace in driving the car off the lot in the first place. People say the oddest, yet insightful, things when see or experience this car, and there's a wealth of learning in the unstated emotion and assumptions through which folks evaluate the car. At some point, there will be a "tipping point" where a critical mass of buyers of such vehicles see beyond the simple perception that this is merely a "Green Car," intended only for environmentalists. I'm frankly in it for something more than that -- I can't quite put my finger on it, but I know there's a big marketing strategy behind the answer.