Prius: leaving a wave of hybrids

Topics: Toyota, Plug-in hybrid, Hybrid electric vehicle Pages: 5 (1662 words) Published: December 26, 2013
Question 1
Publics, Customers, competitors, and, marketing intermediaries are four microenvironment actors that affect the introduction and sale of the Toyota Prius. Customers
Toyota first targeted the techies (early adopters), who would be attracted to the car’s technology. The techies modified their cars and posted their achievements online, creating buzz that Toyota could have never done on its own. These techies spoke about the car’s inherent fuel efficiency and ways to modify it to get a better fuel efficiency. Toyota then targeted consumers who were environmentally and fuel efficiency conscious. These consumers would know from the techies’ reviews that the Prius delivered on their fuel efficiency promise. The environmentally conscious consumers realized using less gas meant they were doing more for their environment. These satisfied customers boasted about their cars which led to more interested customers. The high demand created a phenomenon where the cars were being purchased at a higher sticker price than suggested. Competitors

Toyota’s competitors haven’t fared well because customers were able to discern that these cars weren’t as green as the Prius. The concept with hybrid cars is that it saves you money on gas on the long-run and is also good for the environment. These factors make the higher sticker price feasible but when customers crunched numbers the Prius always had the greater value and lower sticker price. Competing cars Honda Accord, Ford Escape and Mercury Marnier haven’t done well because they weren’t green enough for customers. Toyota’s Prius has been able to benefit greatly from the failures of the other cars. Toyota has listened to their customers and delivered values accordingly. Marketing Intermediaries

Marketing intermediaries are any firms which help the company promote, sell and distribute its goods to the final buyer. For Toyota these included the various advertising agencies, media outlets, consulting firms and privately and/or company owned Toyota dealerships. The dealerships played an important role because they were the public face for the Prius. The customers would spend time analyzing, testing and talking about the Prius in the dealership’s parking lot. Toyota thus established set protocols and learning materials on how to sell the Prius. The salespeople and dealerships would exude the virtues and appeals of the Prius. The dealerships also raised the price over the sticker price which could have hurt the image of the Prius being an affordable alternative for helping save the environment and fuel. Publics

Publics are any group that can have an actual or potential interest or impact in an organization’s ability to achieve their goals. Media and government publics were the most important in the introduction and sale of the Prius. In the media publics, different opinion and informational pieces about the hybrid permeated the airwaves and print. Targeted advertisements were placed in various magazines and newspapers. In the government publics, Toyota correctly guessed that the government would support environmentalism and lower gas emissions. The government in various states had tax deductions, free parking for anyone willing to buy a hybrid car. These factors helped Toyota market the Prius at a higher price. Question 2

Technological Forces
In today’s society, technology has become a part of our everyday life. Toyota has embraced this concept by making constant improvements to the Prius and making their partners innovate as well. Toyota thus aimed the Prius to the techie market. The techies in turn helped Toyota innovate when they hacked their Priuses to individualize improve their car’s abilities. One techie even found a way to plug the Prius into a wall socket and boost fuel efficiency. With subsequent models, Prius has improved their fuel efficiency, added air conditioning, audio, satellite navigation system. Toyota also encourages other technological advances like car batteries,...
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