The key is using focused market research to determine

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Unformatted text preview: the bottom line—by eliminating their least productive mass-market campaigns while redirecting part of the savings to more targeted efforts. The key is using focused market research to determine why a particular consumer segment loses interest in one vehicle while maintaining interest (134-143)Q1'02_AutoBrand_v8 1/7/02 10:55 AM Page 139 R E V V I N G UP AU TO BR A NDI N G EXHIBIT 2 Bottlenecks along the purchasing funnel Awareness Familiarity Consideration Short-listing Has owned brand before Currently own Purchase • Confusion • No interaction • Negative • Weakening of • Poor experi- • Poor experience of between with brand perceptions of initial considence at point ownership—for brand makes through friends, style, value, or eration as of sale instance, poor and models neighbors, or typical owner information is • Poor comquality or dealer coworkers sought through munication service • Unconvincing dealers, friends, of value • No continuing advertising on Internet, and from dealer relationship Internet or TV magazines with brand Purchase obstacles in another. Carmakers can then act to unplug that bottleneck by offering, say, a special options package (for instance, a powerful audio system and low-profile wheels) to younger shoppers at an early stage of consideration or by staging invitation-only test-drives for new models. Brands that become familiar to people early in their lives are more likely to be purchased by them when they first buy cars and thus subsequently. That is why Ford Motor, for example, has invested in driver-training companies in the United States and Canada: the company wants as many people as possible to learn to drive at the wheel of a Ford. The road to active brand management Consumer behavior may be strongly emotional, but influencing it takes data and discipline. The purchasing funnel is a source of information about consumers and a device for interpreting it. Four phases of active brand management—the targeting of high-potential consumer segments, the isolation of purchase bottlenecks, the expansion of the range of consumer benefits, and a concentration on consumer touch points—rely on this data. Target high-potential segments Market segmentation is a prerequisite for any branding effort, though few companies apply a bone-deep understanding of the customer to each product offering and market encounter. Japanese...
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