Road Trip

March 23, 2007

I recently took a road trip in the South East and observed something I have written about in the past.  How unexciting automobiles are today.  Most sedans look the same.  Most SUV’s look the same.  We live in an automobile land of blandness.  I understand the concept of “functionality.”  But a car, at least to me, elicits an emotional response.  I will confess that I love cars.  There are exciting cars out there but they are clearly in the minority. 

First of all, most cars come in dull colors.  And, most are only one color.  This adds to the “blandness” of the auto landscape.  Next, most cars look the same.  It is really hard to  tell the difference between most makes.  When I grew up, I knew every car and every model because they looked unique.  Now, there is little differentiation.  When a “new” design comes along everyone gets excited…  look at the “Smart Car.” 

So, how does the industry break out and do some innovate product development?   Start with color…  let customers choose from a wider range of  colors and look at the car as an object of art.  Thus, there must be things you could do from an appearance/paint point of view to liven things up.  Remember the two-tone cars?  Even Rolls Royce used to provide such an option.

Next, seek radically different designs… perhaps by demographics…. cars for young women, retired men, etc.  I recognize that the manufacturing process puts significant restrictions on any customized and unique approaches.  But, this is America… I am sure great minds can figure out a way!

Let’s rid the roads of blandness!  

Rich

Bizvice:  Business Strategy, Marketing & Entrepreneurship

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