Shifting Consumer Demands

It’s always been said that necessity is the mother of invention. This is clearly seen in the last decade with apps and technology addressing the needs of consumers and businesses. Who knew there was an easier way to keep a shopping list that anyone can see from within the grocery store? Did we ever think we’d be able to ask a cylinder of plastic a question while sitting on our couch and get the answer instantly? Or, while sitting on that same couch, did we ever think we could change the room temperature?

Necessity, productivity, and perhaps a tad bit of laziness have contributed to being the moms of invention. Some legacy industries can learn a thing or two about being more innovative. The recent CES show was revealing some automaker technologies that will allow your car to understand you better. It’s 2017. This should not be a new invention, but rather an ongoing evolution. Unfortunately, for many automakers, this is a new offering.

Consumers have traditionally been drawn to cars for reasons such as safety, gas mileage, reliability, and even sex appeal. Consumers nowadays are demanding technology. Basic integrations with a phone’s Bluetooth are no longer cutting it. The irony, automakers are still slow to adopt. An investment in technology into a car that costs $30,000 or $50,0000 would not drive a significant increase in the sticker price. However, the lack of innovation of most automakers is astonishing.

Listen to the consumer. This is the primary drive of marketing efforts. The shifting consumer demands have been clear for years. This feedback must become part of the company’s consideration for future product development. However, this influences more than just the engineering and design of a car. The sales process must also change. It’s as much about sitting in the car and walking through the technology as it relates to the consumer’s preferred technology – i.e. Apple, Google, Samsung, as it is feeling the free open road.

Sales teams and customer service representatives at automobile dealers have to change their standard pitches and demonstrations. Automakers must realize this shift in the consumer demand is not going to change. Once consumers have an expectation, there may be a shift, but there is hardly ever a full abandonment of a demand they once had.

Client service at automobile dealers and offered from manufacturers will also have to shift. Have you upgraded your car recently? Why not? Don’t you need a faster processor to do everything you want to? Don’t you need a bigger screen? Don’t you need more storage for your music? If a phone that is barely the size of a donut needs updating, how is it that a complete automobile doesn’t? Automakers will realize this is an area for continual improvement.

Imagine parking your car in a garage for the evening. You music syncs with your house and phone systems, your phone directory is updated, and your calendar with driving directions updates. You get in the car the next morning and you know where to go to be the car-pool parent. Directions are displayed in the proper order to pick up the three friends of your son or daughter, and to the final destination of the ball field.

Thank you for making my life easy.

– Consumer

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