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Cars, Sexuality, Consumers and… Marketing!

I can feel you are interested in this one, right?

Let’s get deep into it. Big companies sell the same products in most of their markets, this is very common in our globalized world. Before launching a new product or service in a different country the company probably makes research to understand more about their future customers.

What exactly about them? Well, what they like, what they prefer, how they live, how much money they earn, what they do, and lots of other questions that sum up into what’s called a Customer Behavior. Why people do what they do is based on how they behave. And how they behave is a result of a mix of personal, cultural, and social factors.

For this time, let’s stop at the cultural factors that can affect a specific business. This is the moment the car appears in-game. Do you know Mitsubishi?

Mitsubishi, a Japanese car company launched in 1982 its “Mitsubishi Pajero”, an SUV that would rock the market…until they got to Spain (and other Hispanic countries). After making their customer research, they realized the name of the model wouldn’t fit into that specific market because Pajero has a bad sexual connotation in the Hispanic language.

By analyzing the market’s social and cultural background they realized that having this sexually offensive name in the model of their car could affect the customer behavior at the time of choosing a car. No Spanish talker would like to have the word Pajero in his SUV.

Considering the social factor that affects the way consumers think and act, they had to make a decision in this type of market: they change the models’ name for that specifics countries and called the model Montero.

It’s interesting how words can be deal-breakers in one market and mean absolutely nothing in others. The key is to look to whom we are directing our product, understand their background, their way of thinking, and their lives because in the end, this is what will determine their consuming behavior. By doing this, we are a little bit nearer to being successful in our sales and brand image, of course.

Fun fact: this is not the first car company that deals with this kind of issue… We can see Nissan Moco (yep this came in a green version too…), Kia Borrego, or Mazda Laputa.

Hope you liked today’s “Let’s talk about…” topic, I look forward to reading your comments!

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