Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Marketing Lemmings

It comes as no surprise, really, that Ford and Daimler-Chrysler have come out with "employee pricing" programs. On the heels of GM's successful employee pricing promotion (as previously covered here) America's other automakers have seen fit to follow along like lemmings.

While I am not surprised, I am disappointed. The decision to match a price-slashing strategy is a questionable one, in my opinion. From a pure sales perspective, I understand that these moves effectively nullify GM's perceived price advantage. But from a marketing & business strategy perspective, the reactions by Ford and Chrysler are ill advised.

Suppose that customer Joe Jones has decided to buy an American-made sedan. Chances are high that Mr. Jones will take a first look at a GM car, his interest sparked by the GM discount program. What if he doesn't find the vehicle that exactly fits his requirements and desires at the GM dealership? It is likely that Joe Jones would head over to the local Ford or Chrysler car dealership, right? And if the GM price incentive didn't win his business, how concerned would he be about getting the same "employee discount" from the competition? Not very concerned, I contend. Again, if Joe Jones has decided to buy an American car, the me-too price incentives from Chrysler or Ford will have little or no impact on his buying decision. He would have wound up shopping in their showrooms anyway.

Final comments & thoughts on the matter:
- GM has already claimed the "employee pricing" position in the collective mind of the consumer
- While GM sold a ton of cars in June, it remains to be seen how much impact the price-slashing had on profits

A "me too" marketing approach earns the moniker of Marketing Lemming, NOT Marketing Genius!


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