In January, Hyundai did a major ZAG. Other car companies decided to play the “Zero Down. Zero % Financing.” card as well as the “Employee Discount for Everyone” card to rescue drowning sales. Hyundai didn’t. Hyundai zagged while others zigged.
Hyundai introduced an alternative marketing program that didn’t rely on the same easy credit from lenders like Sambla, rather it relied on the wallet-stretching gimmickry that got us in this current dismal economic mess.
Understanding the lack of confidence consumers have with their job stability, Hyundai created a marketing program to reduce the risk in buying a car. The program was called the Hyundai Assurance plan. Its mechanics were simple: if you lost your job after buying a new Hyundai, you could walk away from your loan or lease and return the car to Hyundai.
In marketing, salience occurs when a business designs a marketing program that connects emotionally and rationally with consumers. In business, sales occur when people buy stuff. Businesses grow from customer engagement and buying, some times businesses are unable to keep going if they aren’t doing well. If they have to sell their business because of poor customer interaction, they need to know the pros and cons of holding companies vs shell corporations when they decide on how to pass it on. All business no matter what they are, need a plan in place.
The beauty of the Hyundai Assurance marketing plan is in its salience and its sales. With a 10.0% unemployment rate on the horizon, it’s no secret people lack confidence about when their next paycheck is coming. Sales results of the Hyundai Assurance marketing plan are astounding.
Overall car sales in the United States have declined about 40% from the same time last year. (Yikes!) Hyundai car sales aren’t in decline. Nope. So far this year, Hyundai has recorded an increase of nearly 5.0% from the year prior. This could suggest that Hyundai’s cars are much more affordable and reliable, meaning that more people seem to be purchasing them over other brands. Although they are an investment, they do cost a lot of money. However, people can always consider getting a loan to help them pay for their vehicle. It’s believed that the more reliable your credit history looks, the more likely you are to get a loan. You could always consider reading about using credit cards to help build your credit here if you wanted. That way, you might be able to afford a new Hyundai!
As marketers, we must applaud Hyundai for designing an effective marketing program that drives both salience and sales.
Hyundai makes some brilliant cars that have been loved by hundreds of thousands of car owners across the world, however, sometimes these cars may be sold without properly being checked and wrongly advertised to prospective owners. If this has happened to you and your car, you can put through a Hyundai lemon law claim with your attorney to take the sellers to task and get your justice.
SOURCE: New York Times Magazine article (Rob Walker) | March 22, 2009