Ford Flex and the 'consideration' problem

The worst that can happen to a brand is when it isn't part of a consumer's consideration set. Its even more problematic for the brand should it fall into the high involvement category. Most low involvement purchases have consumers 'considering' the brand as and when they come face to face with it on a store shelf, even though they may not have 'considered' it outside of the store.

The 'consideration' problem is what American Auto companies face in the United States. Though Ford, General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC have improved the quality, look and feel of their vehicles, many Americans have simply written them off and won't consider buying anything they make, especially in urban, coastal markets where Detroit auto makers long ago lost their allure.

Now Ford Motor Corp. intends to be firmly back into 'consideration', through the launch of Flex, its newest model, a boxy, seven-passenger wagon. The unusual design of the Flex, which has just started arriving at dealerships, is aimed at attacking the 'consideration' problem. Some senior executives at Ford were extremely skeptical about the Flex, but they hoped that its design was so distinctive that once spotted on the streets, customers would flock to the showrooms to take a closer look.

Will Flex bring Ford back into 'consideration'? It seems as if it will. But these are early days. Let's wait and watch.


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