How Should Ford Motor Company Create A Brand For Its InSync Technology?

February 23, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Ford and Nuance Communications of Burlington, Mass have recently co-created a technology called InSync. This is a game changing technology because with it, Ford has been able to redefine the car market. No longer are cars transportation brands.

A Ford car is now a social media content platform. It is now a social media housing brand in the same category with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube With InSync drivers are able to take all their social media devices and plug them into the car dashboard and create material and then share it.

They can do this safely. They can create material while driving with both hands on the wheel. The thing that makes InSyn unique is that the technology is now coming INTO the car. A driver makes the decision what social media material they will use.

This is how Ford differentiates itself from GM’s technology, OnStar. OnStar is located inside the vehicle and the technology only does what GM wants it to do. OnStar can’t do everything. Before, technology for a car was located INSIDE the car and drivers had to adjust to it. Now, Ford’s InSync comes into the car, and the CAR must adjust to the driver.

In a social media era, many people spend more time in their cars than they do in their houses. Ford has now redefined its brand. Ford is no longer a car company. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the general public doesn’t know that InSync exits. To be successful and to create a world class brand, Ford must create a brand strategy that clearly differentiates Ford from GM.

How should Ford do this? This is the purpose of this article. Originally, it began as an assignment for a salesmanship class at JWU in Providence, R.I. This project is about how I would create a brand for Ford and sell Ford’s top management on my branding strategy. For the assignment, I take the position of CEO of a social media branding house trying to sell Ford that they should select my company as its branding strategist. This is how I would create a brand for Ford.

SALES PRESENTATION

OPENING QUESTIONS:
1. Speaking to you ladies, do you remember your first car?
2. Did you have your dad with you, and did he place a high regard for safety in purchasing the car?
3. Speaking to you gentlemen, have you ever helped a daughter, wife, or girlfriend purchase a car? Was safety a critical issue in the ultimate purchase decision?
4. Would you be willing to pay a little more for a car for your daughter, wife, or girlfriend that had great safety software?
5. Suppose Ford created a perfect car, but no one knew the car existed, would that car do Ford any good?
6. If you came across a branding strategy that would make Ford the most beloved brand in American business, would you use it?

OBJECTIVE OF THE ARTICLE: Ford Motor Company has redefined the entire auto industry with its InSync and MyFord technology. That is the good news. The bad news is that no one knows about this technology. For this redefinition to be of any good to Ford, the technology must be branded with a social media campaign that absolutely redefines Ford as the dominant brand in cars. This is my objective. To do this we will target High School girls because they text a lot,and their dads, because it is they who actually buy the car.

BACKGROUND: The present situation at Ford is analogous to the Union army as they prepared to fight the battle of Gettysburg. The original Union General, John Buford quickly realized that the army that occupied the hills around Gettysburg would win the battle. Buford repositioned his army to the elevated heights around Gettysburg. The reason why the Union won the Battle of Gettysburg is that Buford redefined his marketplace (the battlefield) and repositioned his brand (the Union army). When he did this, it was now impossible for Lee to defeat him. The InSync and MyFord technologies are critical software because they allow drivers to take all of their social media devices and plug them into their Ford dashboard. A critical point to be made is that the software allows texting to be done with both hands on the wheel, by using voice commands. You listen to texts, and respond. The texts are transferred to your friend’s devices outside the car. This technology takes the danger out of texting.

Ford must leverage their technological strengths and reposition the car. The Ford brand must no longer define the car as a means of transportation, but as a social media platform. If Ford can create this brand, they will become the dominate car brand, perhaps even the dominate brand in American business. This is why this brand strategy is so critical to Ford.

CURRENT SITUATION. Ford has a technology that will redefine the auto marketplace, but no one knows about this technology exists. The car buying public sees no difference between Ford and other models. More importantly, the public sees no differentiation between Ford and General Motors. People must see that InSync is a far better and far safer technology than On-Star, GM’s technology. For Ford to become the leading brand, the market place must feel a significant difference between Ford and GM.

DESIRED RESULTS. InSync offsets the dangers of texting. This will be an important purchasing factor when parents buy cars for their kids. The desired result that Ford has for InSync is very simple. FORD WANTS TO SAVE KIDS. Texting is a major problem among high school young people, especially amongst girls.

Targeting high school girls is a critical factor in our branding strategy. High School girls seem to have a wider texting net than do boys. High School girls seem to have a higher need to stay connected with their friends. This has created all the dangers that texting creates. Girls text while they drive. They take their hands of the wheel and they take their eyes off the road.

Each year, we hear of families devastated because a daughter, sister, child was killed, and her friends with her, because an inexperienced driver was texting, InSync takes this danger away. InSync a high school girl can text while she is driving. InSync is a game changing software when placed in a car. With the addition of InSync, Ford as redefined the auto market. No longer is a car a means of transportation. With InSync, a car has now become a powerful social media platform brand, on a plain with Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. InSync has allowed Ford to have the potential to become the pre-eminent brand in Social Media.

High School girls and their dads is our target. Dads are an important target, because in many cases, it is they who ultimately buy the car. High School girls are a critical market for several reasons. It is imperative that Ford establishes brand loyalty with women early in their lives.

The most important reason in targeting high school girls is because they give Ford strong long-term brand loyalty. This brand loyalty translates into longer and deeper revenue streams for Ford. The average person buys a new car every 4 years. Women live longer than men; they buy and influence the purchase of more cars than men. Throughout their lives women will purchase many personal cars. They will be a significant influence in the purchase of their husband’s car as well as their own. This means that each fourth year, a woman will influence the purchase of two cars. As business owners and executives, women will influence the purchase of many commercial vehicles over the course of their professional lives.

BUSINESS IMPACT. Our goal in our social media strategy is for Ford to become the pre-eminent brand in American business.

DECISION CRITERIA. The criteria is that Ford wishes to redefine their brand. Ford no longer wishes to be seen as a “car company”. It wishes to be seen as a social media content brand. Ford wishes their cars to be seen as a place where content is created and received and then shared with the community. Ford cars will now be used to create and share blogs, videos, and music. People, in some cases spend more time in their cars than in their private homes. With InSync, they now can place their social media devices inside their cars and create content.

DECISION PROCESS, TIME, AND BUDGET. This will be an ongoing campaign, but it will be redone each year to adjust to the market place. The means that the campaign will be done is to give 1,000 Focuses, equipped with InSync, to a targeted group of 1,000 high school girls.

This is a significant part of the campaign. The girls that we want are a particular type of girl. We want “It” girls. We want “the big girl on campus”, someone who is very active socially. We want the head of the cheer leading squad, the Prom Queen. We want girls who are very active with and who love social media. We want women who text A LOT, naturally. We want women who go places with their friends, where a lot of people are, like football games on Friday Night in Texas. We want our girls to text, blog, and create videos and to place them on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Our advertising will be customer created. It will be free. It will be users talking about the car and the technology and how it affects their lives.

The selection process will also be important. We will run a contest to select our 1000. It will be in different sections of the country. The girls will have to audition. They will have to convince us that they are the young ladies we are looking for. They will have to demonstrate their comfort and familiarity with social media.

The tryouts will be an important part of our strategy because we will encourage our ladies to post their interviews and the selection process on their social media sights. This will give the Focus and InSync many touchpoints that help Ford create its brand. We will call our project, The Focus Project.

The budget will be $0. I will charge Ford absolutely nothing—I am going to do this project Pro Bono because if you create a marketing campaign for Ford, and you make Ford the pre-eminent Brand in American business, your picture will on the cover of every major Business magazine. You will be in demand throughout the industry for social media branding, and you can name your fee. A precedent for this is Chris Atkins. He branded the Obama campaign in 2008 for a small or no fee. Today, he is one of the most sought after social media branding consultants in the business, with his fees sometimes going over a million dollars for his projects.

The campaign will cost Ford nothing. Ford will give out their own cars. The advertising will not be on conventional print or TV media. Rather, the content will be customer created and it will be placed on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Material placed on these sights is free.

CLOSING STATEMENT. What good does it do knock down a 12 story oak in the forest if no one is there to see it come down. Products must be branded. Ford has created this great technology that is game changer, but no one knows it exists. Ford has to brand InSync for InSync to do Ford any good. This is the best solution because it creates incredible upsides and no downside. Ford is not paying any money and at every step in the process, it is receiving large numbers of touch points with the marketplace, AT NO COST. To offer 1000 Focuses for a year’s use at no cost will attract tens of thousands of applicants. Each applicant is going to post her experience on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Think of all the videos and posts that this will create for Focus and InSync. This will create the brand that Ford is seeking for its Focus and InSync software.

There is a precedent for this. The Fiesta was introduced in this manner, and with no money spent on conventional media, the Fiesta became the largest selling car in American.

Dean Hambleton
dnhambleton@gmail.com

I have no relationship Ford Motor Company. If you feel that I can help you further I hope that you will contact through dnhambleton@gmail.com

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dean_Hambleton

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