Ford has a great written history of how a company can succeed and not succeed. In recent years, the company has been able to turn around after a disastrous era where the company's market shares were at stake. During this disastrous era, the Ford Motor Company was failing globally, but with different decisions based upon sustainability and the way the cars were designed eventually lead to a positive change for Ford.
Ford's new and improved marketing system thrives from the specific elements that it incorporates into its products. The first element Ford incorporates into its products is to create the car fit to the driver's comfort and purpose. Ford uses this element to, “group the various levers, buttons, and switches into ‘islands' in accordance with usage and purpose.” (Wong, 2015). The objective here is to make everything easily accessible, where the driver will be able to have everything in a comfortable distance to use the functions of the car. The second element Ford puts into its products is to create a sleek interior that is very “lean and lightweight.” (Wong, 2015). With this type of interior, Ford is allowing the driver to have an open space where they will not be confined and be uncomfortable in the car. Ford uses every space in the car to make the car seem bigger, with its smooth and unadorned surfaces the inside of the car almost creates an illusion to the driver that the car is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. The final The third element Ford has put into its product is “perceived efficiency.” With “perceived efficiency” Ford is able to put “a precarious balance between comfort and stark efficacy.” (Wong, 2015).
With this element, Ford is able to make the physical features, such as the ignition switch, much more practical and the technological areas, such as the control panel, modern and durable. When finding these elements, Ford used Electroencephalography (EEG), to help create these elements. With EEG Ford was able to understand the behavioral aspects a consumer feels in vehicles, and whether or not the product would be comfortable for the consumer. Ford also uses EEG to track eye movements, to create a car that is desirable from the outside (Wong, 2015). Each one of these elements is used in Ford's international plan to create a more desirable product that consumers may want.
Ford's communication strategy is to expand on its “One Ford” movement and spread the word that Ford is focused on its team, plan, and goal. The One Ford movement was created to emphasize on global vehicles and platforms. The movement helped Ford's American market significantly when it was down, and Chantel Lenard, the vice president of marketing for Ford Asia/Pacific and Africa (APA), believe it will work just as well internationally. In 2012, Lenard told Byron Pope, a writer from WardsAuto, that, “It is through One Ford that we are able to bring so many new vehicles to APA… We can customize global products with local tastes, achieving efficiencies through common platforms and core suppliers. (Pope, 2012). With One Ford, the company is able to communicate with each other to be sure all products are Ford based products. In 2007, Ford had 27 global platform products internationally. Today, with the help of communication and consistency, Ford has 9 global platforms. The goal for Ford is to have 8 global platforms to increase the quality and the focus on Ford's products (Ford, 2016). Alan Mulally, Ford's previous CEO, knew that communication was key for Ford as well. Mulally decided to create a Business Plan Review meeting, or BPR, every week. With this meeting, the entire global leadership team, and every other leader in the company was forced to meet with each other and discuss future ideas for the Ford Motor Company. In the meetings, they talk about every aspect of business and how Ford can capitalize on current markets to increase market share and profit. With the BPR meetings, as Mulally told Rik Kirkland a writer for McKinsey Publishing, “It is more than a way of asking, ‘How are we doing?' It is asking, ‘How are we doing against the plan? What are the areas that need special attention? And then all through the year, what is our plan to improve our performance in the following year?'” (Kirkland, 2013). With communication, Ford has revolutionized its communication with its global counterparts to create a healthy business environment where everyone is up to date and on track with current business objectives.
Ford's current brand position and strategy are also based on Ford's “One Ford” strategy. “One Ford encourages focus, teamwork, and a single global approach, aligning employee efforts toward a common definition of success.” (Ford, 2016). The strategy emphasized the importance of working together as a team to achieve greatness in the automotive industry. Ford has also created a four-point business plan that is based on the strategy. The four points are: “(1) Aggressively restructure to operate profitably at the current demand and changing model mix, (2) Accelerate development of new products our customers want and value, (3) Finance our plan and improve our balance sheet, and (4) Work together effectively as one team.” (Ford, 2016). The One Ford strategy has been applied to the company day in and day out and through each of its different business segments. Ford has also created a commitment to sustainability worldwide. Each one of their vehicles is equipped with certain technologies like EcoBoost, which is a device that helps suppress emissions and directly injects gasoline or diesel into the engine. The device also helps with a car's MPG. Devices like this that have increased the production of hybrid vehicles in global markets. Before long, Ford believes every vehicle on the market will be focused to help improve the economy and the environment through sustainable practices.
As one can see, Ford's branding strategy, communication, and key elements in its products are revolutionizing the way automakers are creating their vehicles. With the genius decisions of Alan Mulally, Ford has turned a profit in its global market and is a world leader in automotive industry. The Ford One strategy also changed Ford for the better to help is focus on its key aspect, itself.
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