How Chevy Shouldn’t Talk to Consumers

You know those ones using J.D. Power Awards to sell their cars?

I’m baffled each time I see one of these ads. In my opinion, there are a lot of things that are “off” about these commercials.

My initial reaction was to wonder who thought it was a good idea to use these awards and “real people” to sell their cars. I don’t know any “real people” who would react that way. They would probably react more like this satire commercial.

Start Speaking the Language of Your Consumers

I like to think I’m a well educated individual, but I will admit I’m not overly knowledgable about the automotive industry. So while I have heard of the J.D. Power awards, I don’t know why they’re awarded or if they’re even legitimate.

The automotive industry seems to know and value those awards, but the problem is that Chevy can’t use the language of the automotive industry when trying to sell cars. Chevy needs to be speaking the language of their potential consumers. Most potential vehicle consumers don’t live and breathe and speak automotive industry language 24/7.

The same goes for whatever industry you’re apart of.

By default when any of us talk about our own industry or product, we tend to be speaking at level 9 or 10 using jargon or terminology that’s specific to what we do. When we’re talking to a consumer who needs our product (aka selling), we need to speak closer to a 2 or 3.

Using Familiar Language vs. Talking Down To Consumers

This doesn’t mean we’re talking down to the consumer; it means we’re using language that’s familiar to them on a day-to-day basis; it means addressing the problem our potential customers have that our product solves.

This makes the consumer feel more comfortable because they don’t feel stupid trying to figure out the product, and it makes your company more trustworthy because the consumer understands how we can help them..

The J.D. Power Awards are given for problems that consumers care about, but Chevy didn’t identify that problem until this commercial. And even then, there’s still too much emphasis on the awards and it’s still weird that “real people” are walking on a closed off section of a busy Los Angeles freeway.

Someone over at Chevy (or their agency of record) was able to get them to take a step back and make the problem the focus and then educate consumers about why those J.D. Power awards matter. That should have been the lead for this series of commercials.

The moral of the story: Effective marketing focuses on a consumer problem that your product solves–not your industry-specific awards.

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