Branford, CT (PressExposure) September 15, 2009 -- Gimmicks and tricks that are used for short term sales blitzes are not sustainable in the long term. They will, if executed properly, boost your sales revenue but only for a brief moment. Those types of sales tactics do not enhance your brand and product reputation. If done repeatedly it will tire your costumer out.
It has been said that GM is looking to use this sales/marketing tactic to bring shoppers back into the dealerships and as an answer to quality perceptions. Rarely do satisfaction guarantees provide a powerful change in a customer's perception of quality. Instead it tends to reinforce that quality is poor because the company has to "give it away."
What could GM or your company do instead to help boost customer confidence in quality?
In General Motors case they could give one of the most generous warranties. If their quality is so strong in their cars then a ten year all inclusive warranty would back that up. A car consumer in these tight times would feel new confidence in a GM car that they would be purchasing.
Depending on what you may sell you can also offer a "No Hassle" returns at anytime. Nordstroms, the department store from Seattle, is infamous for this. There is an urban legend that a Nordstroms store took back four tires even though they do not sell them. The point behind this tactic is that the customer has the perception of fairness from the store and that translates to quality. The quality of the product is so good that if it fails ten years later, the store will take it back.
Promote independent testing of your quality through competitions, third parties, and above all customer testimonials. There is nothing more powerful to a customer than a seal of approval by other parties. General Motors would benefit from going beyond NASCAR, car magazines, and television commercials to attest to its quality. It needs an independent movement within social media as an example to tout GM quality.
Price your product to the value of the quality in the product. What is the difference in a pair of jeans from Wal-Mart compared to jeans from The Gap? Both are made of denim and both have two legs. The difference is in price and the consumer expects that the increased price they pay at The Gap results in better style and quality than the cheaper jeans they can get at Wal-Mart. The same goes for the products you sell and for cars. The way markets communicate quality and value is through price.
In its attempt to re-launch itself expect to see General Motors try a number of different gimmicks. Each one designed to demonstrate that they have changed. What you will witness is GM trying to throw multiple slogans, tactics, etc. to see what sticks. In the end it will not work and will not fix GM's reputation for quality.
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