Originally Posted by donsgal
If you ask me it is a mistake to purposely limit your market share. Again, smart is trying to appeal to people who PREFER small to big - which is a pretty small percentage of the general population judging from the number of GINORMOUS SUVs on the road.
Instead of preaching to the tiny car choir, smart should endeavor to expand the market share by promoting the OTHER wonderful aspects of the car such as the fact that it is incredible fun to drive and that it is economical (who doesn't want to save money these days)! Now if they expand the "big" promotion to include the roomy interior, that is good since many people might think that it is cramped.
Honestly, I think that pushing safety would be the best choice, since apparently the majority of people who would LIKE to buy a smart, but don't because they are concerned about [unfounded] safety issues. Smart could launch a very effective advertising campaign (complete with funny, cute ads), based on the safety aspect and hopefully change the minds of those folks by demonstrating just how safe the little car really is.
I like what they're doing. Our biggest obstacle selling the smarts is not about just convincing people that the smart car is cool, or safe, fuel-efficient, or
saves money. It's overcoming the cultural behavior that makes our showroom guests refuse to close the deal because of the cars size. It just seems so American to want the biggest car they can find. Doesn't matter how many times I can show a guest a Toyota Yaris getting crushed by the Camry while the smart tridion holds up against the (stronger) Mercedes C-Class, it just doesn't click.
Americans want something bigger. So I applaud the commercial for trying to make it cool to be UNbig (Americans want to save gas on the largest small car they can find, which is so obvious when you hear the critics call small cars with uninhabitable backseats "smarter" than smarts
). The unbig ads are working on the cultural reasons we lose deals to the larger small cars, and I believe it is going to eventually work. I believe smart will have a BIG (pardon the pun) growth over the next 5 years. I think these ads will work, especially once our product and selection improves for the 2012 model run. Right now we're selling off whatever 2011's remain... lots of green green greens!