Key to Success: Corporate Mission

Most consumers no longer shop for products. They shop for a company.

Triangle_of_GlobesI’m one of the few owners of a Chevy Volt. I bought mine in December 2010, when the vehicle was first released. It’s an amazing car. I’m averaging 112 miles per gallon of gas. Yet most of my “Green” friends are uninterested. They’d rather own a Toyota Prius—or await for a plug-in from some other company. Why? Because the Volt is made by General Motors (GM) and they just can’t believe GM’s heart is in it.

In fact, a recent survey from online market researcher Compete.com shows that only 9 percent of Toyota Prius shoppers even look at the Volt as an option. Yet the Volt won Motor Trend’s prestigious “Car of the Year” award. What’s the problem?

Most consumers no longer shop for products. They shop for a company. With a plethora of product choices, it has become far too difficult and time-consuming to attempt to evaluate each offering. It is much easier to determine if the company you’re buying from shares your values and is likely to provide a good experience. Toyota (TM) has long supported fuel-efficient vehicles. If Toyota had launched the Volt, chances are it would already be a runaway success. But GM? It’s hard to associate the company that brought us the Hummer with a green image. How could GM executives possibly care about fuel efficiency? Or even get it right? Are they doing this only to look like good corporate citizens?

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Source: Larry Popelka | Bloomberg Businessweek