Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Plan of Attack -- Part I

As I expected, my wife Erika accused me of being a spinless wimp for not giving the Honda dealership a bigger piece of my dissatisfied mind about the low miles. She's probably right, but then again I'm supposed to be the guy promoting temperate, rational, considerate, and win-win interaction between consumers and companies. Anyway, after sleeping on this a bit, I've decided to go after the Ad Agency. (Don't know their exact name yet.) My guess is that the VP of Honda sales will express polite concern but probably punt to someone else. The ad agency, however, bears a special responsibility for ensuring brand communication matches up with product reality. Indeed, woe to the advertiser that sets the wrong expectations with consumers. Nothing begets negative word-of-mouth than mismanaging expectations. Plus, the entire car industry is about to unload a deluge of "buy hybrid" advertising, so I'm probably doing everyone a favor by calling out a big achilles heel in the messaging. Lexus just placed a two-page ad in the WSJ touting an upcoming Luxury Hybrid Model. Ford's got one coming soon (Hybrid Escape). I'm still holding out hope for my Honda Civic Hybrid...but the relationship is getting shakier every day.

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