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Go it alone or partnering strategy for Aero Motors

MM578 - Week 3 You Decide Transcript

Scenario

Aero Motors, a subsidiary of GenMax world-wide, has a great reputation for producing high-end, luxury cars for primarily the European and Asian markets. The flagship model, the Pinnacle, starts at $50,000 and goes up from there. While the cars enjoy a devoted following and great customer reputation in those markets, the sales of the cars have never taken off in the U.S., primarily because the cars were not attractively priced and had a very limited service and dealer support system in the U.S. There is no real following for the cars in the U.S., and most U.S. consumers have never seen one. Those people who do own the cars in the U.S. are extremely devoted and have clubs and associations such that owning a Pinnacle is a lifestyle decision into which an owner can build a lot of social status.

Now, Aero has access to a leading market technology that will allow them to build very fuel efficient automobiles in the compact and subcompact range. The cars can be produced and sold in the $15,000-$20,000 range. GenMax has decided to attempt to penetrate the U.S. and North American markets with these new cars. Your task is to decide what branding strategy to use, how to organize the U.S. unit, and even to decide how to brand and name the cars. They are asking you to develop the strategy, and how to develop the relationship with Aero in the U.S. market รข?" basically run the show!

Your Role

You are the new Director of Business Development for Aero Motors, a subsidiary of GenMax. The Board of GenMax has tasked you with managing the introduction of the Aero Motors brand to the North American market. You are going to need to review a few possible combinations of branding strategies for the introduction of Aero Motors to the North American market segments - in particular the United States.

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Raymond Burke, Technical Director

With our lack of infrastructure in the U.S. market, we need to focus on an alliance with an existing U.S. company and basically private label the new car. We can't just start trying to sell this car without a dedicated, trained support system to service the new technologies. If we don't establish it, we will have a lot of unhappy owners when the cars need service and repairs.

We will need to seek out an existing company in the U.S. market, enter into a non-disclosure agreement with them, and go to market that way. You'll have to figure out how to control the brand and reputation from there.

We will not be able to keep our technology advantage for more than two years before our competitors fully understand it and are able to completely utilize it in their models. We must get as wide a footprint as possible, as quickly as possible, in this market or we will lose our competitive advantage!

Kathy Lee, VP of Marketing

Everything regarding this vehicle has to be controlled by us from the beginning. Otherwise we will never get a chance to make our mark again from the beginning. I think we MUST introduce the car on a very limited basis in urban regions, set up our own dealers and service centers, and market to green-oriented consumers.

We want to be known as a lifestyle type of company and use the existing, very loyal customer base for our cars to do viral and buzz marketing type activities for us. Although the price of the cars will be entry level, I think we can build a certain status around the Aero ownership experience and give our cars a desired, even somewhat elite, status.

Patricia Lopez, Art Director

You have to decide what sort of marketing approach you want - do you want to appeal to frugal consumers or an eco-savvy customer who wants to drive something different than the status quo? I don't know if you want to go with a mass-appeal, "every man" type of campaign, or make the model introduction more for a discriminating few?

Allison Tanney, CFO

My thoughts are to try to minimize risk and capital exposure as much as possible. While branding entirely on our own has advantages, I believe that it will be more expensive and offer less return on investment for at least the first five years. Partnering with an existing company would offer much less control, but we would almost certainly sell more units and have less growing pains than going it alone.

Activity

Well, here is a career-making or career-breaking decision. You will want to consult Chapter 8 (Perception), Chapter 9 (Production Positioning), and Chapter 10 (Motivation) as you formulate your strategy. Primarily, you'll want to prepare a brief to the CEO and Board of GenMax, one in which you weigh the pros and cons of the go-it-alone strategy and the partnering strategy. You will want to give a high level rationale justification of the strategy.

For each strategy you'll want to explain:

risk/reward
how you want to use the existing Aero brand and following in the U.S.
and finally, how you'll make your recommendation

Solution Preview

Consumer Behavior:

The Aero Motors Company has had a strong market presence in European and the Asian market. As it launches its operations to gain entry into the United States market, a lot of market entry strategies have to be considered. This will equip the corporation with the needed information and techniques that will sustain the functions of placing the product-car in the US market. The strategies that will be employed for this commodity will promote the brand of the company. This will lead to the attaining of effective new client base and the growth of the business in the new market. All the marketing techniques, product placement and the product pricing strategies that will be engaged will be aimed at establishing and maintaining organizational competitive edge. This will thrust the company into the target market raising awareness for the new car brand (Gregory, 2010).

The lack of effective infrastructure in the US Market will require the company to take into consideration the market strategies that will address this need. The organization will focus on the development projects that will ensure that the target market region is well captured. The need of a dedicated trained support system that will service the new technologies will be provided in all the regions for the clients to have an avenue where they will address all the problems they encounter with cars. This is to ensure that the repairs and the servicing of the cars will be well handled (Recognizable Branding, 2011).

Company Strategies in Car Branding:

As the organization launches the product in the United States, it is the aim of the company to have a great image for the product in the targeted niche market. The car needs to have a symbol of identification that will ensure that the prospective clients notice its presence. This will be attained by the creation an identity for the car-the branding strategy that will make the car to stand out from the rest of the cars in the market industry. For this line of cars the memorable and profound image that will represent it will be 'an exquisite car for that unique individual'. The reward that will be achieved from this brand of the car is the great positioning of the car in the market motivating the ...

Solution Summary

The expert examines CEO brief as to whether go it alone or partnering strategy for Aero Motors.

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