Changing hearts and minds
Q: U.S.-made cars are now held in higher regard by American consumers than Asian-made vehicles -- a significant turnaround in public opinion. Is this the result of negative publicity about Toyota or have Ford and other U.S. carmakers made the changes needed to change the perception about their vehicles? How hard is it to transform a person or product's reputation once it's set in people's minds?
People's minds can be changed best through experience. In our era of information overload, something dramatic is required to penetrate our milieu and create the kind of experience that opinion turns on.
If you find yourself the victim of circumstance, prejudice, or ill-formed preconception, the best way to shift that perspective is to provide something new, relevant, and stimulating that leaves a lasting positive impression. That's what Ford has done.
While the economy struggles and jobs are still in short supply, with Detroit in tatters, Ford has managed its way through the rubble and emerged with several strong cards in its hand.
First and foremost, they have produced the numbers. This on the back of refusing the federal infusion of cash. CEO Alan Mulally has emerged a captain with foresight and strong leadership. Ford's Fusion and Focus were introduced as global vehicles in 2007, sharing platforms on every shore - a long awaited move. Now Ford is pushing the frontier in electronics, turning cars into operating systems that will run apps just like iPhones, merging technology with travel, commuting, and safety.
It is moves like these that demonstrate clear vision and capacity to deliver in the midst of economic chaos. This turns heads and shifts opinion, which is exactly what Ford needs.
Toyota will need some of the same medicine. But, today they still appear befuddled, unsure, caught off guard, wondering what is going wrong. Not good for public perception and the economic support it engenders.
But, it's not impossible. With a string of visible successes, Toyota can turn public sentiment around just as well.
So, if you are fighting a less-than-desirable image, find your way into the spotlight with a clear-headed, demonstrable display of level-headed victory. Then you will enjoy the great pivot as the masses turn and nod toward you in approval, too.
Posted by: RPeacock | April 28, 2010 8:17 AM
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Posted by: tjmlrc | April 28, 2010 7:04 AM
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