For a long time, the Ford company had on its sights customers who love custom made motor vehicles as their preferred target audiences. This group mainly consists of the rich in the society, with the ability to afford custom made cars manufactured for them. Another group of audience targeted by the company includes customers with specific needs concerning the products they offer. The company lends them customer voice, allowing them to play a part in the designing and manufacture of their products. This concept is evident through the Ford Companys approach promoting customer-driven production in delivering their products in the market. It is also evident from their recent market approach drawing attention to environmental consciousness, which forced the company to shift to the changing needs of the consumers.
The Toyota Company, on the other hand, has the middle-class populations in mid as their target audience. This is evident in the manner in which they design their products. The company has managed to acquire and maintain a giant share in the automobile industry through generations y producing cars that are economical in use and also fair and affordable in retail prices. This method of marketing approach endears the company to customers who consider the economic costs of owning and operating the vehicle as their primary parameters in choosing a car to purchase. The economic costs include the fuel costs, the availability of spare parts and repair costs, general maintenance costs among others. Besides, Toyota produces a broad range of automobiles with diverse characteristics and covering a wide range of costs. It builds cars ranging from classy to pure economic vehicles, and thus endears itself to a significant portion of the middle and low-income earners as its customer base (Pati et al. 2014).
How Each Company Tailor Message to Audience
The Ford company markets their products through a strategy meant to draw customers by convincing them that the company builds the product for their needs. Its slogan goes that the product is made for the people, by the company. In this manner, it draws attention to the clients needs and thus assures them that the company is there to serve them by providing the best services they require. Customers who wish to acquire a car that is custom built would thus choose the company as the priority given the confidence they would have in the companys ability and will to honour their wishes. The company, therefore, achieves customer appeal through being customer driven.
The Toyota Company, on the other hand, diverges from presenting itself as a customer-friendly company, but rather establishing their products as customer friendly. The company, therefore, focuses more attention on presenting their products in the market in ways that attract the customer to the qualities of the product, while likely having little or no interest in the company itself. The qualities of the cars they sell to the market thus end up attracting the customers to the company. The Toyota Company also present themselves to the consumers as an all rounded company able to cater for a wide variety of their needs and concerns with regards to financial ability as well as environmental sensitivity(Pati et al. 2014).
Strengths of the Strategies
The different ways in which these two companies market their products have advantages and their disadvantages. In the Ford corporations case, for example, its customer driven approach endears the company to luxury-loving clients. This group of clients usually love having products designed according to their specifications and requirements. They would thus be advantaged with Ford Companys willingness to involve them in the development and production of the product they desire. This way creativity is developed, and the company gets to retain interesting aspects that may be brought to them by the clients. Their manner of approach also enhances the customers relationship with the company at a personal level. Clients that have previously had successful transactions with the company are more likely to identify positively with the company and thus enabling the company to retain their customers in the long run.
Toyotas approach to the market that features product affordability in acquisition also benefits the company by endearing them to a much larger customer base across all walks of life. In availing their spare parts all over the world at low prices, the company ensures that their products are efficient enough for the customers to continue being loyal to those products and thus providing a sustained market for their automobiles. Also, availing a wide range of products in the market that caters to the needs of a vast spectrum of the classes in the society enables the company to maintain its dominance in the automobile industry. In addition, focusing on the production of low emission vehicles sells the company to its audience as being environmentally sensitive and their products green, which makes the company a favourite in many governments.
Shortcomings of Their Approaches
Both their approaches, however, have their shortcomings too. The Toyota Companys approach to the market, for example, involves limited customer interaction. This has led to the company lacking a stable relationship with the audience it targets, who apart from attraction to the affordability and wide range of attractive packages that draw their interests to the companys products do not identify with the company. This is unlike in Ford's case where its close relationship with its customer base allows it to communicate better with their clients and has thus allowed it to perform very well in the automobile sector in the past. The importance of establishing a positive relationship with the audience is seen in the companys recent efforts to identify itself as an American company to boost sales locally.
By focusing on selling the company to the audience more than the products, Ford Companys approach has caused it to lose out on the large share of the market. This is mainly due to the minimum range of automobile varieties that the company offers to the audiences. This approach has in the past established the company as belonging mostly to the wealthy and older audiences in the society. In the recent past, however, the company has initiated campaigns that involve younger generations in their efforts to accommodate a larger target audience. Also, its approach towards promoting elegance and neglecting other factors such as environmental friendliness has in the past led to the company being outshined by competitors like Toyota. Their recent efforts however in promoting the production of fuel efficient and low-emission automobiles are a positive indication that the company is paying more attention to the changes occurring around it.
Patti, G., Cooney T., Snider, K., Ying, L. and Nancoo, J., (2014). TOYOTA:MARKETING PLAN . Pdf .Retrieved from: https://jessicanancoo.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/gbda-304-section-2-group6-final-written-report-f2014.pdf
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