The marketing plan for Honda Accord Hybrid failed to take note of consumer attitudes and lifestyles. Their product positioning strategies were ineffective which made the vehicle lack a unique brand identity in the market. They failed to include strong attributes regarding the product in their plans. Engineers who designed the vehicle thought buyers would be impressed by the vehicle’s fuel economy capabilities but they did not take note of prevailing market conditions.
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They did not take time to realize that vehicle buyers had become more conscious about prices and this influenced their purchasing habits (Kiley, 2007). The six cylinder Accord hybrid was priced at more than 9,000 dollars higher than the four cylinder gasoline version. The pricing strategy adopted for the vehicle discouraged buyers from buying the vehicle and they opted to purchase the gasoline version.
Honda also failed to engage potential buyers to understand the type of vehicle they wanted to satisfy their expectations. The firm did not offer customers a unique selling point that would motivate them to purchase the vehicle. The marketing had a false sense of hope that the Accord hybrid would follow in the footsteps of its gasoline version which had recorded high sales in the U.S. The firm failed to establish a unique brand for the hybrid model, which made it difficult for customers to understand its unique attributes (Kiley, 2007).
Customers were not able to distinguish the Accord hybrid from the gasoline version and this affected its performance in the market. Therefore, the firm had a high quality product which was not properly marketed and lacked a unique selling point. The firm also failed to initiate memorable marketing campaigns that would have given the vehicle a strong entry into the market.
Honda needs to overhaul its research and development processes to come up with hybrid vehicles that suit customers’ needs and lifestyles. The firm needs to the vehicle a different brand name to make it possible for potential buyers to distinguish it from the gasoline version.
This will make the product have its own brand identity that evokes positive feelings from potential buyers in the market. Some additional improvements should be done on the vehicle to add new features that give it the desired level of competitiveness in the market. The firm should take effective approaches to win the confidence of its customers.
This will strengthen their faith in the new product to help it maintain its competitive edge in the market (Karadeniz, 2009, p. 99). The design needs to take note of fuel efficiency and other attractive features to make it more competitive than other substitutes in the market. The firm needs to be aware that Toyota’s hybrid car, the Prius is performing well in the market. It needs to come up with effective strategies to help the vehicle get a larger market share.
Honda needs to communicate the vehicle’s strongest attributes to give it more publicity in the market. The firm should make customers aware of the unique features of this product and how it suits their lifestyles. The confusion generated by the previous model regarding fuel usage was one of the main reasons that made it perform poorly in the market.
The firm needs to clear this issue to make customers understand how much fuel the vehicle consumes. The pricing strategy needs to take note of buyers’ interests, incomes and lifestyles (Karadeniz, 2009, p. 102). This will make it possible for the improved product to be responsive to buyers’ interests. The firm needs to improve the way the vehicle is perceived by potential buyers to make it more attractive.
The new hybrid vehicle needs to have its own independent brand to make it more appealing to customers. The firm’s marketing campaigns need to make customers’ about the vehicle’s fuel consumption rates compared to other substitutes and other unique functional features.
This will ensure customers do not confuse it with the Accord gasoline version. The firm needs to develop effective marketing campaigns that appeal to the emotional psyche of prospective car buyers (Karadeniz, 2009, p. 104). Previous Honda models have performed well in the market because customers have a lot of sentimental attachments to them. The firm needs to use the loyalty it has built in the market over the years to help it register positive results in the market.
The firm’s marketers need to reverse misleading perceptions about the product in the market. The hybrid’s high price discouraged many customers from purchasing it because they felt it was beyond what they were able to afford. The marketing approach adopted for the new brand should adopt a suitable pricing strategy to encourage more prospective buyers to purchase it.
The firm needs to partner with good advertising companies to enable it create compelling adverts that connect with potential customers in the market easily (Karadeniz, 2009, p. 107). The advertising approaches used need to show customers the product’s unique selling point to encourage them to purchase this brand. This will help the product to overcome entry barriers in the market that made the previous model to register abysmal performance.
Karadeniz, M. (2009). Product positioning strategy in marketing management. Journal of Naval Science and Engineering, 5 (2), 98-110.
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Kiley, D. (2007, June 5). Failure of Accord Hybrid is a marketing fiasco. Bloomberg Business Week. Web.