Business Insider recognizes Ford Motor Company as one of the world’s top-ten “hottest brands.” Ford’s peers in this ranking include Google, Kindle and YouTube. Tellingly, no other car company made this list. This branding success has helped to sell 2+ million Ford branded vehicles in the U.S. for the second year in a row.
First Time Published! Ford’s Marketing Research
For the first time Ford has published their market research upon which they are crafting this brand leadership success.
http://media.ford.com/images/10031/fordtrendbook2013.pdf Their view for winning brand leadership is based upon this:
The social contract as we know it has been broken; mistrust of corporations, governments and media is rampant. Weary of mis- information, people are reappraising their relationships with companies and brands, making integrity a new form of competitive advantage.
Ford: :Go Further”
Go Further is Ford’s branding response to this changed competitive landscape where consumer trust is won through integrity not advertising hype. Ford’s Go Further program targets building customer integrity by delivering cars and trucks that are fun to drive, price competitive and are leaders in fuel economy that also support achieving lower tailpipe emissions. Go Further is Ford’s path for delivering on the consumers’ search for value and values in the products they buy.
Electrification is a key technology implementation path for executing Ford’s Go Further strategy. Ford cars and trucks are increasingly smart digital machines. Digital technology enables their gasoline fueled Eco-boost engine to offer the power of a larger gasoline engine from a smaller four or six cylinder engine. This downsized but powerful engine delivers performance, fuel economy and lower emissions at a competitive price.
But the real future of Go Further is the introduction of electrification into Ford’s drive train and braking systems. Ford has just launched a series of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and total electric cars. The price for these cars built around electrification are currently higher than Eco-boost cars so while they are achieving encouraging sales results their sales levels that are modest compared to all-gasoline Ford cars and trucks sales.
Future Electric Car Sales Driven By Higher Gasoline Prices + Economies of Scale And Increasing Consumer Awareness
Ford Motor Company sees electrification of the automobile as its sales future based upon three major trends. Gasoline prices are the most obvious first trend. Today the United States is producing more oil than ever before in its history including during the 1940’s when Texas alone represented 75% of the world’s oil supply. But that doesn’t mean Americans will see the return of $1-2 per gallon gasoline prices because the economic reality in that in today’s global oil market it is demand, not supply, that is driving the price at the pump. Global oil demand will continue to grow driving up our pump prices. This trend is opening the cost-competitive door for electrification of cars and trucks as pump prices climb up into the $4 and $5 per gallon price range.
Manufacturing economies of scale is the second trend driving electrification. The per unit cost of electrification will decline over time as manufacturers like Ford figure out how to produce more electric cars for a lower per unit cost. The auto industry is investing in massive research to find new materials that will drive down the cost of batteries driven by the industry’s potential for a car sale explosion if electrification technologies can become price competitiveness and free customers from pain at the pump.
The third important trend is the increasing awareness among consumers that there are costs associated with burning fossil fuels beyond the price at the pump. Market research is pointing to a sea-changing growth in awareness among consumer regarding climate change. Over 65% of consumers over the age of 18 and younger than the age of 65 view climate change as a very or somewhat serious problem. 70% of the Latino community that is America’s fastest growing demographic holds this opinion. Current consumer opinion aligns with the car company’s focus upon introducing electrification technologies and working to drive their costs toward competitiveness against polluting fossil fuel technologies.
John Viera, Ford Global Sustainability Director
In this 3-minute video interview John Viera, Ford’s Global Sustainability Director, outlines Ford’s Go Further “brand promise.” His remarks are insightful for every business seeking to win customers who are activity searching for “in me, on me and around me” solutions. He talks to Ford’s focus upon offering superior product designs, best in class safety, introduction of smart technologies and being green.
This is the second article of a four-part case study on how Ford’s strategy that is achieving record car sales results is built upon sustainability . Their best practices in product design, operations and marketing can be used by every business to grow revenues and win customers. The first article profiles my exclusive one-on-one interviews with Ford Chairperson Bill Ford and CEO Alan Mulally. CLICK HERE to read my about my interview with Ford’s Global Electric Manager on the range of electrification technologies available for saving money and reducing tailpipe emissions. CLICK HERE to read about my test drive of Ford’s C-MAX Energi that offers a digital dashboard that are a fun and connected digital path like the iPhone that will enable drivers to save money and even find romance!