Tag Archives: promotion

Car Washes That do More than just Wash and a Buff

I don’t know about you, but I love a good car wash. Nothing beats taking a dusty, dirty car and turning it into a clean and shiny car.

But, car washes are pretty boring fare. Just basic. Wash and dry. Maybe a little wax. And we can do this ourselves (if lucky enough to have a house and yard), or we can go to a car wash for different levels of service from self-serve to full-detailing.

One of the problems with car washes is their total lack of appeal for customers while waiting for the car to be cleaned. Bored patrons. Utilitarian building. No appeal. No community. Wouldn’t it be nice if car washes were, well, attractive and welcoming?

Some car washes have seriously upped their game, adding coffee shops, bars, food, hookah bars, and more. The result is to make it more like a club – and keep customers there to spend more money and time.

One car wash in Sioux Falls, S. D., offers locally roasted coffee along with sandwiches and pastries. Another business offers pet-washing stations plus doggy snacks. A car wash in Zurich, Switzerland, has a dance club on the second floor so that customers can dance while they wait. And, a car wash in Plano, Texas, uses advanced technology in its $5 million facility with a luxury lobby complete with televisions and café

Lest you think car washes are small potatoes, a research report shows it growing to a $38 billion market by 2030. However, start-up costs for an express exterior car wash can be several million dollars. Businesses need a little competitive edge and better services could help differentiate car washes.

Care for a latte while you wait?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start with a poll. What do students dislike about car washes? What amenities would they like to see in an upscale car wash?
  2. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this service? What are the points of difference?
  3. Discuss the four I’s of services: Intangibility, inconsistency, inseparability, inventory.
  4. Where on the service continuum is a car wash?
  5. Service encounters: Develop a customer contact audit for a luxury car wash.
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop their own car wash service.
  7. Who is the target market? How will they promote it?

Sources:  Jordan, M. (26 April 2022). The luxury car wash: Dog spa, hookah and even lamb chops while you wait. Wall Street Journal.

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Top Car Brands for 2022

The automotive industry is notoriously tough. Considering that an automotive purchase is among a consumer’s most important buys, are purchases that are high-impact and high-involvement, and that there are hundreds of different choices, each sale is important.

Manufacturers compete for not only sales, but also for top rankings by organizations such as J.D. Powers, Car & Driver, and Edmund. Among the most popular ranking reports on vehicles is the one done for consumers by independent testing organization, Consumer Reports.

To compile the report, the team at Consumer Reports test drives and evaluates multiple attributes of more than 250 different vehicles. To be a top tier pick, the cars must score well in road tests, crash tests, owner satisfaction, and have better predicted reliability. Key safety features are also important. Top picks must have forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. These are safety features which have been proven to save lives.

This year six Japanese brands are among the top-10: Subaru, Mazda, BMW, Honda, Lexus, Audi, Porsche, Mini, Toyota, and Infiniti.

  • Best overall, best overall mainstream, best road test score mainstream, and best road test score overall: Subaru
  • Best reliability: Mazda
  • Best American overall: Buick
  • Worst overall: Jeep
  • Worst road test score: Mitsubishi

The top EV pick this year is the electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, a first-year electric vehicle with a base price of $44,000. The Ford EV beat out Tesla as being more reliable, practical, quieter, and less complicated than Tesla Model 3.

Among U.S. manufacturers are Buick as the highest-charting brand (in 11th place), followed by Chrysler (13th), Dodge (16th). Dead last on the list was Jeep which had significant reliability issues with its Gladiator pickup truck.

This year’s winners by category include:

  • Electric vehicle: Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Small SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized sedan: Honda Accord
  • Compact pickup truck: Honda Ridgeline
  • Subcompact SUV: Nissan Rogue Sport
  • Two-row SUV: Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Three-row SUV: Kia Telluride
  • Luxury midsized SUV: Lexus RX
  • Small car: Nissan Sentra
  • Hybrid: Toyota Prius

Did your vehicle make the list?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Consumer Reports’ rankings: https://www.consumerreports.org/media-room/press-releases/2022/02/mainstream-auto-brands-beat-luxury-names-in-cr-2022-rankings/
  2. Show the video of car rankings: https://youtu.be/wQ_fHOmo0aY
  3. Discuss how companies can use the report in their marketing.
  4. What should companies that didn’t make the top list do to promote their vehicles?
  5. Review key aspects of developing a product positioning map, including determining the axis labels for positioning.
  6. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a positioning map for a category of automobiles.

Source:  Best cars of the year: 10 top picks of 2022. Consumer Reports.

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A New Sport Takes the Stage – Pickleball!

Quick question: What is one of the fastest growing sports in America?

Answer: Pickleball!

Surprised by the answer? Does pickleball conjure up images of old fogies slowly meandering around a small tennis court? Well, pickleball might have been first adopted by an older crowd, but it quickly made inroads into a younger people.

What is pickleball? Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Three dads on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle, Wash.) are credited with inventing the sport in 1965 to have fun with their family members. Creating a court and improvising equipment and rules, the first permanent pickleball court was built in 1967. In 1972 a corporation was formed to protect the new sport and by 1976 the first known pickleball tournament was held in Washington state. By 1990 pickleball was being played in all 50 states.

The popularity of the new sport grew quickly. By 2021, the USA Pickleball Association estimated that more than 4.8 million people played pickleball.  Community organizations, tennis clubs, and athletic gear companies have all gotten in on the new sport. Professional pickleball players abound – many are former pro tennis players – and tournaments can found around the nation.

What are you waiting for? Get in on the action!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What are favorite sports? Which sports do the students play?
  2. Who has played pickleball? Describe their experiences.
  3. Show USA Pickleball website: https://usapickleball.org/
  4. Have students research pickleball gear: https://www.pickleballcentral.com/
  5. Show videos of Pickleball on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4vHhZ03O0PI
  6. Have students search for “pickleball” on social media.
  7. How does the cost of pickleball compare to other sports?
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotion plan for pickleball.

Source:  Plummer, T. (Feb. 18, 2022). Pickleball is ready for Prime Time. New York Times.

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