Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Hyundai vs. the memory of the Pony

Hyundai vs. the memory of the Pony

So Hyundai is producing excellent cars. They won some awards. And they are telling everyone about it. That is good marketing; but big deal.

What is holding people back?

Think 1984 to 1995. Remember the Pony?

Yeah – too many of us do. How can we say this in a nice way? It was a piece of garbage. At least that is my opinion. I remember when the Pony came out. I even remember considering buying one. Yes, I was that desperate in those days. I also remember how the resale value of the Pony hovered around the resale of the Lada: A couple hundred dollars.

First impressions count. And if our first impression of Hyundai is crap how do we make the transition to excellence?

I think that Hyundai hasn’t figured that out yet.

First impressions are strong.

Look at how long it took for Toyota and the Japanese auto industry to overcome the stigma of cheap and low quality. Decades! They did it through persistence.

Is Hyundai trying to follow the same formula?

Sometimes what worked in a different time does not work today.

Sometimes you need to think and be radically different.

What can Hyundai do?

Well – if the problem is the lingering image of the Pony – then maybe they need to destroy the image of the Pony.

Figuratively and literally.

Instead of trying to ignore the obvious, Hyundai might consider leveraging the past.

Yeah – embrace the Pony and blow it up.

Smash a Pony event.

Assuming they can find any remaining Pony’s – hold special events. Invite customers and prospects to visit their Hyundai dealer – take a test drive then smash a pony with a sledge hammer.

Hyundai might even consider a TV ad where they blow up a Pony. Imagine the buzz that could create for them.

Come on – every car manufacturer shows scenes of their car zooming along the road. – Boring!

Smash a Pony!

It might even be worth it for Hyundai to produce some more Pony’s just for this promotion.

George Torok

PS: I love my Hyundai XG 350

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