Is This a Business Fail or a Brilliant Marketing Strategy?

Posted by Matt Mills on June 6, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Fiat 500e Marketing StrategyIf you didn’t hear about this yet, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne has asked people to NOT buy one of his cars!  As an advertising and marketing website, we were naturally intrigued…and couldn’t help but wonder if this was just part of a brilliantly creative marketing strategy…or one of the biggest business fails in history.  Since we couldn’t remember anyone doing something like this before, we thought we would post the story to see what you think.

In general, people want what they can’t have. That is why so many people “play hard to get”.  This is a tactic that is often used in business.  For example, restaurants have been known to use this marketing strategy when they first open.

To give you an example, I had an experience with this marketing tactic just recently.  I called a new restaurant on Thursday for a Saturday reservation, only to be told that they are booked solid the entire night and that I should call at least 7 days out in the future.  Unlike others who called for reservations and were told the same thing, I live nearby and figured my wife and I would just go to the restaurant and sit at the bar to eat.  When we got there at 7:30pm, it was hard not to notice that only half of the tables in the dining room were seated.  They were “playing hard to get”.  And while that technique may be part of a successful marketing mix, it definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. 

In the case of Fiat, we don’t know if the CEO did this with a marketing purpose behind it, or if he REALLY doesn’t want you to buy their 500e electric car because he losses so much money on them.  Marchionne was quoted as saying, “I hope you don’t buy it because every time I sell one, it costs me $14,000.  I am honest enough to tell you that.”

Whatever his intention, he got marketing value from it, because the story has gone viral and is all over the internet.  If you want to read more about it, click here for a story from FOX Business.

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Tags: Marketing Strategy, Integrated Marketing



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