Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bueller's Teacher Aces the Auto Test

Ben Stein nails it when writing about the US Auto Industry in this Sunday's NY Times.

It's the product, stupid!

It's not the "something-doo economics" that everyone from Wagoner, to Ford, to some bartender on Woodward Ave. quotes as the downfall of the US brands.....

I mean, Kevin "Field of Dreams" Costner would make a better auto exec than half these people. He understood, "Build it and they will come". ........"build it" as in stylish, solid, and desirable.

Instead, we got "guys" [or Julie Roehm characters!] that emulate one of my favorite, but obscure, "Bueller" quotes- Parking Garage Attendant says, "You guys got nothing to worry about, I'm a professional." To which Cameron replies, "A professional what?"

Reminds me of a few auto meetings I've been in..............

True, Stein notes that some US products still make a statement- eg- Corvette, 300C, Escalade. But, the sales numbers don't lie and way too many US cars and trucks are "reputation and appearance-deprived". And the Chinese are just ahead to make life tougher still.

.......Stein even gives a shout-out to my boy Deming and our beloved "PDCA"!

So, US auto execs, what do we do about the future to prevent you from going away completely?

"Anyone? Anyone?"

Sunday, May 13, 2007

How a Decision Is Brought to Life

The success of any sales or marketing project starts with understanding how the consumer creates the action intended. How the decision gets made.

I suggest it starts with design, because-

Design = Expression.
Expression = Lifestyle.
Lifestyle = Customer Connection.
Connection = Influence.
Influence = Sales.

To me, decision criteria are prioritized in the consumers' mind like this-

1. Design [attracts my attention].
2. Fits my Need [confirmation].
3. Image Feel Connection [branding].
4. Fits my Life [real or intended].
5. Quality [acceptable to me].
6. Price [fits my wallet].
7. Value [fits my justifications].

The mind [even Abby Normal's] decides things this way.

You may see this is as the "nonsensical ravings of a lunatic mind". But, "it's all written down in the notes! Now, tie off the kites and hurry down as fast as you can!"