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Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Sales and Marketing > Marketing Management > Green Marketing Trends

Paint Color Becomes a Scientifically Marketed Competitive Advantage

Automotive paint color becomes marketing advantage

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Design is King...Design Trends...that is!

"Design is king," has become a marketing mantra in retail and manufacturing. As desktop publishing, computer-aided design and global marketing all have made more elegant design both feasible and affordable, companies are capitalizing on design as a marketing edge. Think Apple Computers. Or the fashion flavor of the week. Now car companies are discovering that COLOR is an important element of design...

Before you buy into this marketing rage...check the road. I've been noticing that 95%+ of the cars on the road here in Los Angeles are in the white-gray-black family. Maybe 1 in 50 is in the reddish family. And 1 in a hundred might be blue or green. This might be regional -- but a little practical research helps balance the marketing flavor of the year!

Automotive Design and Color

Ford Flex copper color Design and color rank as more important purchase consideration factors than ever before, so Ford Motor Company is planning its biggest paint changeover in company history and leveraging a new collaborative product development process aimed at winning customers.

By 2009, 45 percent of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products by volume will feature new paint colors. Plus, Ford is using a new collaborative process that unites designers with marketing, manufacturing, purchasing and vehicle operations experts as well as dealers – and leverages their collective input to strategically develop top customer paint color choices.

“Our research shows that nearly 40 percent of consumers will turn to another brand if they can’t find the vehicle color they want,” said Susan Lampinen, group chief designer, Color and Materials, Ford Motor Company. “Using our design talent in harmony with other business operations has allowed us to create colors backed by science, ensuring we’re creating the right color palettes to support the business – in every region of North America.”

Ford Color Analysis

In the integrated process, Ford experts analyze vehicle characteristics, target markets and the manufacturing process to dream up a short-list of paint colors aimed at winning customers throughout the continent. The team works together to decide what percentage of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles will carry the specialty paint – and how they’re distributed geographically.

An early success story: Blazing Copper, the feature color for the all-new 2007 Ford Edge, hit the bull’s eye, with nearly 10 percent of customers choosing this bold color. This doubled traditional feature color take rates of 4 to 5 percent, helping drive Edge sales. In the second quarter, Edge was the No. 1-selling mid-size crossover in the industry.

Dealers are part of the new process, too. They participate in pre-production paint reviews. Plus, they receive guidance from designers when ordering vehicles to ensure the customer-desired colors are on display in dealer lots around the country. Dealers now have the tools to choose the appropriate color mix that display the most appealing colors for products in their markets.

Paint Color is the Eye Candy!

“To move the business forward, you need to offer products that excite people. Paint colors on well-designed vehicles are the eye candy that draws them into the showrooms,” said Lampinen. “Our collaborative process lets each part of the business provide different knowledge about the customer to develop a variety of colors that are fresh, appealing and right for customers, no matter where they call home.”

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 260,000 employees and about 100 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.

SOURCE: Ford Motor Corp



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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