Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gen Y : Stick to the Basics

My hero (and the proof that reaching Gen Y can be more simple than you think).

Long, long a galaxy far, far away...there existed a saying (I think it came from my father's childhood); keep it simple, Stanley.  Yes, Stanley's really his name.

Since Josh is up in Ford's grill about their social media campaign for not meeting his high standards (you should see the women he dates), I thought I might as well just jump in and comment on Dealer Marketing Magazine's article Keeping Up With Gen Y: How Automakers Can Reach This Upcoming Group of New Car Buyers.

The article from Dealer Marketing Magazine goes on to say that to reach Gen Y you should consider using social media, automated kiosks in dealerships, car customization, and technologies that allow Gen Y to custom build (and preview) their pimp new ride.  

Here's the concern; reaching Gen Y isn't just "bling".  Yes, it helps.  In this analogy, I'd obviously prefer my car to be rollin' on Dubs and Lambo doors like Fiddy, a disappearing hood ornament like Too Short in "Blow the Whistle", and I always love me television headrests like Bird Man and Mannie Fresh.  However, if the car doesn't have wheels, an engine, or smells like a cat just yakked tuna all over the bucket seats...that car's not worth my time.

Here's the dirt; the technologies above are fantastic.  They would work.  They do work.  Scion is a great example of a company that's utilized customization, social media, and great advertising to reach Gen Y.  However, I wouldn't step foot inside some of the car dealerships I've visited with their sleazy salespeople, pushy lines, and horrible advertising even if they had all those technologies.  And that includes Scion.

At the end of the day, interacting with and reaching Gen Y can really come down to the basics of service, quality, and product.  For example, take Les Schwab.  They have some antiquated technologies to preview your car with rims.  I can't see a computer animation of how much better I will handle wet roads if I sipe the tires.  Yes, the store is a little mid-90's.  Their advertising involved a senior citizen driving a Jeep around in the mud.  But when it comes down to it, people still go buy there to buy their rims and most certainly go there to get their tires maintained.  Why, do you ask?  It's simple; great service, high-quality maintenance, and reliable product.

As people get more and more caught up with Gen Y and the concept of social media, they must always be on the lookout to see if they're exceeding the needs of their customers in the core aspects of service, quality, and product.  If we fail in these areas, your $300,000 flat-panel, multi-touch, fully-integrated tabletop customization magic computer machine won't be good for much else other than the standard purposes of a table (and impressing your bored workforce).

Dealer Marketing Magazine; I look forward to your next article on those three topics.

- Mama said knock you out -

Phil Jones

1 comment:

Jenna said...

Another important thing about the Les Schwab is their commitment to the community. They get involved locally. And they do have a lot of great services and make suggestions to other places who do stuff they don't do. I went there to get my brakes checked last week (for free) because the Toyota dealership said I had less than 1,000 miles left on them and I felt like my brakes were new. They told me the breaks were fine and suggested I go to a small family business down in Hillsboro to get my bug shield reinstalled. I freaking love them. Plus they support basketball and thus my brother.

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