GM Acts on Toyota Recall: Listen and Monitor.

Wow, this morning has been so exciting. Yet tragic and scary for Toyota owners. As a marketer, I am sitting back to watch how all of this will unfold for Toyota. The ultimate case of brand identity, reputation and economic crisis are all balled into one horrible circumstance.

While Toyota is scrambling to figure out a solution to the “accelerator pedal” crisis, GM is utilizing the Social Media accelerator. By monitoring their competition and listening to their customers, they were able to act quickly and possibly lure customers away from Toyota. Based on Toyota’s reliable and trustworthy reputation, Jake Fisher, senior automotive engineer at Consumer Reports, said “It’s very difficult to pry someone away from Toyota.” Which is why the competition must be paying attention to how they can now find a way to gain some of Toyota’s market share.

Less than 24 hours after the recall was announced GM announced an incentive program to any Toyota owner:

  • Toyota lease holders can get up to $1,000 in lease payments to terminate their Toyota lease and buy or lease a GM vehicle. It applies to Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles.
  • Financing buyers can get zero percent interest rates for 60 months on most GM vehicles.
  • Cash buyers can get $1,000 down-payment assistance to get into a GM vehicle.

Social Media Lessons Learned…so far:

  • Monitor your competition, you never know when an opportunity may present itself.
  • Listen to your customer – on and offline.
  • Fail fast, act quickly.

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