While we were discussing positioning in class, one of the examples that popped into my head was Ford’s Taurus. In my family, every car is a Ford (despite the Jeep Wrangler that has been around since I got my driver’s license — I think that was always a dream car for my Dad… but regardless) – my Dad has built a relationship with the dealer who supplies the company cars for his work and thus we
always have a Ford something. When my little brother totaled the 1999 Explorer (my baby), my Dad decided that it was time for my Mom to get a new car… and for her car to be passed down. To my mom’s shock and probably disgust, my Dad asked her to test drive a
Taurus. Before she did this, I was speaking with her on the phone and she said something to the effect of “Dad wants me to get a Ford Taurus…. I think he is having a midlife crisis and going to find a younger woman, and I’ll be left with a jelly bean car.” Of course she was making ridiculous claims and knew those to be false, but the image of the Ford Taurus that she had in her mind was the Jelly Bean. How wrong she was!!!
When Positioning was discussed in class, I thought about the Ford Taurus and how my Mom had that ‘jelly bean’ shape in her mind… and that the general opinion of Taurus was ‘meh’ – it existed but wasn’t something desirable to drive… and how far it has come.
In my opinion, Ford has done an excellent job with re-positioning their brand and proving themselves to be able to provide a quality automobile with all of the latest technology. It also speaks volumes that they were able to maintain steady business without a bail out through the recession.
Once my mom test-drove a Taurus and they presented her with all of the options (air conditioned and heated leather seats, massage seats, Sync technology, automatic sensors for headlights – and auto sensors to turn on brights, blind spot sensors, in dash dvd player, satellite radio, back up camera, sun roof/moon roof… the list goes on and on…) she couldn’t stop talking about her awesome new car. Taurus was no longer a jelly bean shaped “meh” car… it has arrived in its own class of luxury. Ford has continued to change the minds of consumers regarding their brand. Their technology is second to none as Ford continues to surprise consumers.