Last month I (2 Guyz Larry) was traveling in Uzbekistan, (yes, on purpose), where 85% of the cars are painted the color of white. At one dealership I found all of the cars on display were white. That’s not like in America.
The auto buyers, citizens of Uzbekistan,demand white. Why? It is one of the major colors on their flag. So it’s a patriotic thing.
As a lifelong marketer, it made me think about a marketing consumer behavior lesson. Ever rent a car from Hertz, National or Avis? After parking it, can you find it? Sometimes it is difficult. A foreigner in a foreign land, in a generic rent a car…good luck. I know finding your own car can be difficult after shopping in a mall on some days, and it would be even worse if all of the cars looked the same.
I also add something to the dash to help me recognize my rental car.
But in the U.S. people will buy different colors or rent cars with a different color because of colors they like, reflect their personality, AND to help find the cars easily.
What if you were looking for their car in a parking lot in Uzbekistan? All white and the majority are Chevys, built in Uzbekistan. Over there you pay extra for “white”, and I was told it takes about a year to get a car.
What if you saw a bank robbery? At least 85% of the time the getaway vehicle would be “white, Chevrolet.”
This brings up a classic marketing lesson from none other than Henry Ford. In 1909 Henry Ford said, “A customer can have a car painted any color he wants, as long as it’s black.” Classic.
Henry Ford knew he had the “right” product (one of the nine P’s of Marketing). It would be constructed of the best materials, by the best workers, with the simplest designs at the time for modern engineering.
He will building cars for the majority of customers ( “People” under the 9P’s of Marketing). Segmentation wasn’t the most important marketing strategy. Ford said it would be low in price so that no man or family making a good salary will be unable to afford or own one. (“Price” is another one of the nine P’s of Marketing.)
In the early days of Ford, the car salesman wanted more variety and more models. Ford held to his beliefs. One car, one color. And it worked.
You don’t have to be different to be successful. More styles and colors my spoil a good thing by changing it.