Marketing 210 Case
Marketing is all about creating and capturing customer value; so, consumers stand at the center of marketing strategies. Throughout segmentation and targeting a company decides which customers it will be serving and by what means. Therefore, a firm's marketing strategy consists of the sequence of logics it plans on implementing in order to be able to fulfill its goals and mission; thus creating customer value. In this case, Customers markets were clearly well studied which maximized the sales. Indeed, it began by targeting “early adopters and technology pioneers”: The “Techies”. The confection of this “gadget” gave them the opportunity to enjoy the latest trends and technological advances: they were given the pleasure to have a car they could use as an experiment; sequentially, doors were opened, and clubs and networks were built promoting the many possible uses of the car… Later on, after studying the market environment, Toyota marketers decided that it would be best to try to appeal to a different sector of customers, the more “environmentally friendly”, desiring fuel efficiency; that approach enabled the sales to augment tremendously as well. Resellers were more than satisfied with the way things were going: long waiting lists, and international markets couldn't get enough of it: “Toyota announced that it had sold a total of 1, 028, 000 Prius Cars worldwide since the vehicle went on sale in Japan in 1997”.
Each process brought into play aspires to advance the sales. The microenvironment of a business is what regroups all the internal aspects that might affect or be affected by how well the business is running. Consecutively, it is important for a company to follow closely these various factors and make sure that it evolves on the right track. Here, the company made some modifications within the company in order to meet the customers' needs, by encouraging for instance the Research and Development department in order to build the latest trend that is going to revolutionize the automobile industry. Toyota seeks to put into the market the upcoming penchant and, more than ever, raise the bar in the automobile industry. Furthermore, some alterations have been made from the first generation of Prius to the second one in order to improve the product. In 2004, the model became more spacious, better looking and with a more efficient performance. These modifications showed a new side to the line that is more in harmony with the customers' needs. As a result, the improvements made from one generation to the other have a necessary role in a company's marketing strategy.
Thirdly, Marketing intermediaries like dealers, resellers were pleased with the outcome. In the USA, they would have never imagined nor forecasted the impact and the success this product was going to have. Some of the initial advertising budget for the car went to materials to help dealers communicate the new hybrid technology to customers. As well, even though, in the beginning, marketing services agencies were not indispensable and not a lot of the investments were made to publicize the product, if truth were told, sales were high without the need of additional advertisement. Besides, celebrities' endorsements and various other factors helped in putting forward the new product. However, later on, Toyota, while changing its marketing strategy, “launched a $40 million campaign” targeting its new customers; that came in handy so that sales would increase.
On the other hand, there are other major factors that are most likely to have an effect on the final outcome. In this case, at first, other competitors did not consider this little hybrid car to be a threat to other models. For example, in the USA, a country full of truck and big car lovers, where “SUVs” were the big hit, nobody expected this model to sell, and especially not as much as it did. In fact, due to its numerous innovations, not only Toyota gained a substantial strategic advantage but also the Prius became one of the best sellers of the year 2007. Therefore, the majority has been proven wrong and Toyota had managed to outdone itself in every way. The triumph of this type of car in the market consequently impelled many competitors such as Honda and Ford who put into place a model of the same category respectively the Honda Accord and the Ford Escape. Hence, several hybrids appeared in the market trying to compete with the Prius. Still, due to the fact that they were a bit behind and were not as original as Toyota, the car had enough advantages as far as prices and efficiency were concerned to remain a leader in the business. As well, the Prius experienced some internal competition; the Camri did give the Prius some hard time. Nonetheless, both of them made the whole company proud worldwide for several consecutive years.
But this car doesn't only come in handy for comfort and efficiency; in a world with an exponentially growing population, parking spaces and traffic are becoming a harassment. With a car the size of the Prius, it is much easier to maneuver and park, making it much more attractive to the consumer than large vehicles and SUVs. But what really made it for the Prius was the rising price of petrol, rising to never seen before price per barrel, the hybrid system of the prius seemed to offer the best solution to save on gas. Sales rose around the world and hybrid took the name of eco-friendly decreasing all kinds of pollutions from air to sound etc.
The impact of the Prius on the world is so big that the once largest American auto-maker GM is now looking into eco-friendly alternatives to its high consumption SUVs in order to make them more appealing to the ever-changing market, modifying its marketing strategy to survive.
In conclusion, Toyota's strategy for marketing its Prius has been very efficient and adapted to all kinds of changes in standards and different circumstances. The car might be too pricy but Toyota is planning on reducing the price due to the current economic crisis. Besides. Toyota is ahead of the curve in its marketing strategy and “plans to unleash an entirely new lineup of hybrids based on the next-generation of lithium-ion batteries” that will considerably improve the product and give Toyota a large lead in the market.