Monday, September 14, 2009

Ford Displaying Their Talent For Innovation

As the American auto makers try to rebuild their brands after many years of ignoring (or, perhaps miscalculating is a better word) consumer trends and creating a sub par product as compared to many foreign models, the pressure is really on. In some ways much worse than the plethora of obstacles a new company would encounter while trying to break into an industry, these companies must rebuild, re brand, and redefine their offerings to win back the mind of the customer. And, as many know, once customers lose confidence in a brand it can be all but impossible to regain.

In addition to the challenge of developing automobiles that are more reliable than in previous years and selling these claims to the public, auto makers must offer more. Their designs must be up to date with attractive new models bearing sleek designs and new features. Furthermore, it is not enough for American car makers to get up to speed with the competition. They must go beyond and show that they are once again reclaiming the top spot with cutting edge offerings. Second is not good enough. They need to build confidence in their brand.

One vital way of doing this is through innovation. It appears as though Ford is taking their responsibility seriously and may be on their way toward a revamped brand image. While watching football this past weekend, I saw an ad for the new Ford Taurus. This model offers a design that is eye-catching, and honestly like nothing I would ever expect from the Taurus model. However, the angle of this particular advertisement is what is most interesting. Ford has developed an innovation for their vehicles using sensor technology which will cause a red dot to show up in the side mirror if there is a vehicle in the driver's blind spot. The result is essentially the elimination of blind spots. The result of this: a new safety feature that will no doubt make drivers more confident behind the wheel and will potentially lead to a decrease in accidents.

I like this innovation, and I like the ad. I would say that the commercial may be better served showing a family on a road trip as opposed to a man driving alone due to the Taurus traditionally being a family car. Although, perhaps they are trying to get away from that positioning. The new design may be evidence of this. Ford's slogan at the end of the ad is "We speak car. We speak innovation". I like this too. It is appealing and is doing its job of helping to change the average consumer's perception of Ford as being out of touch and behind the times in a lot of areas. Check out the ad below, and tell me what you think.