Another Letter to Honda: VP Sales & CEO of Agency
I finally sent a fairly in depth letter to both the Honda national sales VP and the CEO of Honda's main advertising agency. My rationale: these are the two folks that are most accountable for the brand selling proposition, and I can't imagine them not being responsive to thoughtful (and well documented) feedback that the Honda Civic Hybrid brand promise (mo miles) just ain't measuring up on the results front. At the end of the day, sales and advertising play the biggest role in setting consumer expectations, and in convincing buyers that key product benefits and attributes are "worth the price." I'm not quite ready to share my entire letter on this blog (again, I'm been "rooting" for Honda to somehow recover since the first day I encountered my mileage problem, so I'm trying to be incredibly diplomatic), but I did toss in an important line at the end worth repeating:
FROM MY LETTER TO HONDA SALES VP AND AGENCY CEO: "PLEASE don't put this note in the 'complaint' box! Put it under the column that reads 'Marketing Efficiency.' I am asking you to help me become your most effective advertiser. At a time when traditional advertising -- especially television -- is losing impact, word-of-mouth counts for a lot these days. Any honest feedback sessions like this may be your best opportunity to drive advocacy and long-term loyalty. If you have doubts, run a head-to-head ROI analysis matching me with ANY one of your many advertising vehicles."