Toyota Prius Marketing Audit

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 101
  • Published : December 12, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Solar Power 2006:
Solar
A Hybrid Marketing Story

Celeste Migliore
Advanced Technology Vehicles
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
October 17, 2006

The Evolution of Hybrid Marketing
The
Marketing strategy - greatly evolved, in a short
period of time (in auto industry terms)
Required learning - who our last customer was, but
who the next customer will be
What worked last year doesn’t necessarily apply
today
Constant evaluation and change is required
We don’t create demand, we facilitate it

Phases to the Evolution
Phases
Phase 0 - Alpha Testing
Phase I – Launch and Learn
Phase II – Aligning Business Practices
Phase III – Springboard to the Mainstream
Phase IV – Mainstreaming Hybrids

US Market Conditions in 2000
US
Industry on track to set new record

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Market dominated by trucks and SUV’s
• Gasoline prices down to record
low…$0.99/gallon!
• Hummer H2 Concept debuts Detroit Auto Show

Chevy Trailblazer

Economy strong; full effect of dot com
implosion to be determined

Ford Explorer

Hybrids an Unknown Quantity
Hybrids

Honda Insight

Honda Insight launched in late
1999
• Small two-seater proof-of-concept
with low sales targets

Focus of public discussion was
on Electric Vehicles – with all
the associated consumer
concerns
Toyota a strong performer, but
still known primarily for high
quality cars and trucks
• Not considered a technology
leader!

Toyota RAV4 EV

GM
EV1

Model for Technology Adoption
Model

Chasm

Innovators

Early
Adopters

• Looking for the
latest technology
• Willing to take risks

Source: “Crossing the Chasm” by G. Moore

Early
Majority

Late
Majority
Rejectors

• Seek time tested and
reliable products
• More economically focused
• More risk averse

Time

Phase 0 – Alpha Testing (Demo Program)
Phase
Demo Cities
April 1999-January 2000

Vehicles placed with
consumer households
for four-week duration
Publicized thru Internet;
over 8,000 applicants

Objectives:





Toyota Prius (Gen 1)

Obtain consumer feedback; real world testing
Increase awareness in key markets
Define Toyota Hybrid System as the green standard
Influence policy makers regarding the benefits

Phase I – Launch and Learn (2000-2002)
Phase
1st Gen Prius launches July 2000
Goals
• Create a halo for Toyota brand and
show Toyota’s commitment to
changing the world
• Generate awareness of hybrids
• Obtain widespread support of dealers’
sales and service personnel
• Influence regulatory requirements
• Modest sales goal: 12k units per year

Strategy
• Unique distribution methodology – the Internet!
• Extremely focused message to Innovators and
Early Adopters with environment and
technology message

Phase I – Marketing Efforts
Phase
Tightly focused “specialty”
media channels
• Print in technology-oriented
outlets
• Outdoor in key markets
(LA, SF, NY)
• Select TV spots

Message was technology and
benefits focused
Formation of critical
partnerships to drive
awareness
• Environmental Media Awards
• American Lung Association

Phase I – Lessons Learned
Phase
Prius struck an emotional chord,
not a rational one
“Environmentalists” don’t buy
environmentally friendly cars –
prefer bicycles
• Conscientious, wealthier,
technology-savvy consumers
key buyers
Internet distribution model worked
well
• Right product to right place
• Dealers didn’t need to learn to
sell the car
Education was everything, and
experience is essential
Our customers were our best
marketing tool – “Prius Pioneers”

Purchase
Reasons
• Making a
“statement”
- Environment
- Oil Use
- Innovation

• Personal
benefits were
secondary
• Toyota QDR
very helpful

Rejection
Reasons
• Safety
• Durability
• “Plugging in”
• Aesthetics
• Power
• Residual
value
(hybrids a
fad?)

Phase II – Aligning Business Practices (2002-2003)
Phase
Real competition comes to
market:...
tracking img