Generational brand loyalty

June 19, 2008

HondaMy family now owns a fleet of five Hondas and it occurred to me that I don’t really consider myself an emotionally invested loyalist. Hondas and Toyota are both in my consideration set – price and availability are the tie breakers. Honda just happens to be on a winning streak lately.

So why are Hondas and Toyotas always in my (and the country’s) consideration set? They consistently deliver on the basics: reliability, durability, and low cost of operation. Change their oil every 3,000 miles and they seem to run forever – my Civic has 245,xxx on the odo.

When our friends in the media report on the woes of the domestic auto manufacturers, they always surmise the salvation is a breakthrough product, unusual styling or whiz bang gadgetry. Honda and Toyota built their kingdoms on none of this.

Automotive brand loyalty is a powerful thing. Families pass down their brand preferences to their kids, so delivering value on high ticket, low frequency products is incredibly important. Advertising and promotion is less significant because “trial” is not in the automotive marketing vernacular.


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