Archive | March 2014

Connection Trumps Differentiation


The automotive industry has always been at the peak of my interest. Why do I find this so fascinating? First of all, this is a highly competitive industry, full of major players who have all the resources money can buy. Major players in this industry have extensive financial, technical, manufacturing, marketing, and other resources that give them an advantage in R&D, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of their products. Other competitors are in a stronger position to respond quickly to new technologies and get products out more effectively while competitors such as GM, Ford, and Toyota have significant economies of scale that allow them to compete with lower starting prices on vehicles.

Innovation is the core of why this market continues to grow and expand, and change. Everyone wants to be the top, everyone wants a sustainable competitive advantage, but thinking sustainable and thinking about long term strategies is no longer the way to go. Adaptation and versatility are essential, and innovation is the norm. The key question here is, what does it take to stand out?

Well, all roads lead to the consumer. The consumer is the reason why businesses exist. The automotive industry is characterized by intense competition with an abundance of options for consumers. From diesel vehicles to hybrids and flex fuel, and a neverending list of brands and options, the variety of choices give consumers high buying power. It’s not so much about what the business can do, but more so about what the consumer wants. This isn’t an industry that competes on a low cost structure, differentiation is essential. But differentiation for differentiation’s sake is not the point. The point is, to differentiate through connection. Connection is the key, it’s how a brand communicates to the consumer that they understand them, that they share the same worldviews. Connection is relevance. Connection is trust.