I am responding to your request concerning marketing ideas for the up-coming range of electric cars. Zero-emission vehicles are a very important step toward taking control over our environment. The constant increases in gasoline and fuel prices are posing a large problem to the driving community. Gasoline and other fuels are not infinite and people have started to realize how big a problem that will be in the near future. There is also the issue of environmental concern. The gasoline powered vehicles are emitting wastes in the air that are poisonous and which are polluting the air. The climate everywhere is changing and it keeps on getting worse. A solution to both these major problems can be in getting most of the population to adopt driving purely electric cars which do not emit any waste and which operate at a significantly lower cost than normal gasoline powered cars.
Renault's mission is to produce purely electric cars that can be bought in a price that is equivalent or close to the price of a normal gasoline fueled car. Electric cars are not necessarily a new product but they have a significantly lower market share, because they are generally more expensive than normal cars. Renault's aim is to eliminate this problem and produce electric cars that are more affordable to the general public.
The first thing that needs to be done is to develop a marketing strategy and design a marketing mix. Renault must decide which customers to serve then select a market segment. It should have a customer-driven marketing strategies in which they can win customers and keep them. Renault is producing a car that the customer can afford; a car that is cheaper to maintain and is environmentally friendly, it gets them where they need to go and can be charged overnight or at any of the available charging points in major public areas when in need. Renault should focus on people living in urban areas where the driving range is relatively short and mostly for work-purposes or family shopping trips.
Within this urban market segment there are employees in a corporation which are usually given company cars. Renault could target these corporations so that all employees be given an electric car to drive to and from work. Government could also be targeted by implementing a plan where all taxi drivers should drive electric cars. Families could use electric cars for shopping trips or driving the kids to school and saving money on gasoline and also reduce air pollution.
The next step is marketing positioning where Renault can have a relatively high competitive advantage. We have to decide how we can distinguish Renault's electric cars from the competitors' and deliver higher customer satisfaction. We are creating higher customer value through lower prices of cars and greater benefits like saving money on fuel and being environmentally friendly without a change in the customer's typical driving habits.
Now that we have a marketing strategy and estaplished market positioning we can develop an integrated marketing mix to influence the demand for electric cars. To do that we need the 'four Ps.
The product is zero-emission electric cars that come fully serviced and available in different models that all run on high capacity batteries that could be recharged and upgraded when newer technology is developed.
The price is how we gain competitive advantage. We are offering electric cars that can be sold at an affordable price which is equivalent to normal cars. This low cost will encourage customers to invest in electric cars as the benefits outweigh the price in the long run.
Place is how Renault plans on making those cars available to customers. The electrics cars could be sold in independent car dealerships which could be partnered with Renault. The dealers should be carefully selected and should have a controlled inventory where prices and sales closing are closely monitored.
Promotion is how we plan to sell these electric cars to customers. The best way to do that is to help make our customers fully informed on the benefits of owning an electric car. The Renault website should list all the advantages of owning one of their electric vehicles which makes target customers feel safe and comfortable in their buying choice. Dealership sales people should assist potential customers in choosing a car and explain to them the benefits of owning a Renault electric car. Another strategy is to offer a week-long trial period for unsure customers, which could convince the customer that driving an electric car is not much different than driving gasoline fueled car and it doesn't disrupt normal driving habits. The customers would then feel more comfortable in adopting the electric cars.
Renault should evaluate its marketing environment and find positive opportunities and define environmental threats. The strengths and weaknesses should be well defined to know which opportunities to take. The electric car product's strength is environmental friendliness and lower cost. The weakness is relatively short driving range. Opportunities could be found in the increase of oil prices and scarcity of natural resources, as well as environmental concerns could greatly influence a customer to switch to electric cars. Threats include the refusal of government cooperation in building charging point areas and investment in environmentally friendly methods.
The most important external factor is the cooperation of the public to change their driving habits. If people could be convinced to switch to electric cars it could greatly increase global cooperation to become more environmentally aware. Aggressive advertisement is needed to fully expose the public to the benefits of switching to electric cars. I think Renault's electric cars are customer-centered and benefit the customer as well as the environment.
I think you are very right to be optimistic about high demand for the new range of electric cars. I feel it is safe to say that you have a very high competitive advantage and if appropriate marketing is applied, there will be high customer value. I hope my ideas on how to go about marketing electric cars have been useful.