It’s a company that’s known for its founder once saying; “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black” during a meeting in 1909. Granted the comment was made to convey that 95% of the market will buy out of need and the other 5% will need to cater to some personal desire(The Truth About, 2015). Henry Ford was at the cutting edge for his time, however times do change and so do marketing strategies. To that end, the Ford Motor Company obviously has a completely different marketing strategy than they did well over a hundred years ago.
Ford as a household name
Since the Model T rolled off of the line, Ford has become a household brand with a number of varying types and models of vehicles, from sports cars to large work trucks. With so many models available, it is clear to see that Ford has a need to segment their market, and they have done so rather well. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
Segmenting the market
“Built Ford Tough(Ford, 2017)” is a slogan known by many, but what is it talking about? This statement largely refers to the company’s line of trucks and sports utility vehicles. It clearly signifies that Ford trucks are tough and should be known as such. So, who does this slogan target? With a clear slogan and back up messages focused on the strong and well made features of their line of trucks, it’s rather clear that Ford is targeting men. Not just men, but men who work hard, need a solid truck for work, or even just men who want to convey a rugged image(even if it’s just to pull the family boat).
Market segmentation at its finest
Another, newer example that I recently came across while watching television is Ford’s campaign named “Born to Roll”. This campaign focuses on women, moreso, African-American women. The website and campaign focuses on inspiring stories of three women; an airline pilot, dancer, and business owner(Ford Born to Roll, 2017). All of these stories have a common thread of strong women. Instead of focusing on the features of their vehicles, in this segmentation Ford focuses on the stories in order to garner brand recognition among women.
You’ve come a long way, baby!
It’s clear to see that the Ford Motor Company has come a long way since that meeting in 1909 and Henry Ford’s quote about a car painted black. In fact, even in the few years after that quote, Model T’s were seen in different styles and even colors. It appears that Mr. Ford caught on quickly that consumers do have different tastes!
Ford Born to Roll. (2017). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://fordborntoroll.com/
Ford (2017). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://www.ford.com/new-trucks/?searchid=723124697%7C40418702129%7C431835943%7C&s_kwcid=AL!2519!3!167664298987!e!!!!built%20ford%20tough&ef_id=Vf4g-wAAAVlXTVko:20170830200041:s
The truth about. (2015, May 01). Retrieved August 30, 2017, from http://oplaunch.com/blog/2015/04/30/the-truth-about-any-color-so-long-as-it-is-black/