Interested in a used Chevy car, truck or SUV? You might want to get a friend’s opinion first…especially if you have a friend named Glen(n).
As of 2019, there are few industries or areas of marketing where ‘test groups’ aren’t utilized in some form or fashion. The goal, of course, to elicit candid reactions and assessments of a product, service or brand, from the perspective of a layperson, in order to identify strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a valuable means of sidestepping the proverbial booby-trap of an echo chamber, where the enthusiasm of invested insiders could camouflage very real flaws.
But recent years have seen innovative marketers experiment with the philosophy behind test groups. Rather than gain beneficial insights from a random group of test subjects, many companies are organizing groups based around specific consumer profiles. With advances in digital marketing, such profiles empower the company to tailor their advertising to certain sensibilities, and to target those consumers in online campaigns.
But according to Claire Oswald, GM Brand Specialist, “Another way such profiles can be helpful, is by identifying influencers. Those whose social standing, profession, appearance, or social media presence make them appealing to others, enabling them to influence buying decisions.”
And that’s exactly what General Motors seems to be doing, in terms of defining a strategy to increase the sales of pre-owned Chevy vehicles. A recent online blog post from GM shared the insights of five men, on the topic of used Chevys. The only similarity? Each of the five men was named Glen(n).
But why Glen(n)?
That’s the question we asked Ms. Oswald, to gain a better understanding of why a major automaker would devise such an arbitrary means of forming major strategy.
“Who is Glen(n)?”, she asked with a smirk. “According to our research, Glen(n) would most likely be described as ‘a good guy’. He’s the everyman. His closet full of button-down shirts, and neither his wardrobe or haircut would ever be described as ‘stylish.’ In his single years, friends probably tried to fix him up many girls that needed to meet a ‘nice guy,’ but his sincerity and genuine nature were likely to work against their shallow needs. Glen(n) would make an ideal husband. He loves his mother. He loves dogs. He’s handy around the house, owning more than one well-equipped toolbox. He’s not much of a ‘beer guy.’ His Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is to die for. And last, but not least, his opinion is well-respected among friends, family, and peers – and he is often sought out for advice.”
So, to promote pre-owned Chevy’s as a sensible alternative, who else would they seek out but a panel of five men, all named Glen(n).
Glen Lawson (47) is a married father of three daughters, employed as graphic artist in Bethesda, MD. What he likes about purchasing a pre-owned vehicle are “the long-term savings. By not buying new, you’re letting the previous owner shoulder the burden of depreciation.”
Glenn Daddario (34) is a single, gay attorney from Manhattan who considers himself, “a fan of Certified Pre-Owned vehicles. The added assurance that a vehicle meets factory standards makes me feel far more comfortable.”
Glen Kilpatrick (52) is a widowed account manager from suburban Chicago who says, “used vehicles just aren’t what they used to be, and that’s a good thing. I like the fact that dealerships have to take more responsibility than ever, in offering a quality product and standing behind it.”
Glen O’Connell (28) is a St. Louis-based woodworker, who lived with his fiancee and their two Australian Shepherds, Bosco and Bocephus. “It just makes sense for someone starting out, or building a life. I’d rather prioritize a home purchase or travel, than throw away money on a depreciating asset.”
And finally, Glen LaRoque (24) a single, mixed martial art enthusiast from Boston undergoing court-ordered anger management issues who adds,”A used fahkin’ Chevy? Are you fahkin’ serious, kid? The only thing more stupid than getting excited about a new cah, is getting excited about a used Chevy! What are you tapped? Fahk, kid. Look at me, dude. I’m rahkin’ a 2014 Malibu! Aint it sweet? No, it aint fahkin’ sweet. It’s fahkin’ quee-ah. Just like you. And I don’t mean that in a way that’s derah-gatory to gays, okay? So chill out. I gaht a brothah who’s quee-ah as a three dollah bill, and I fahkin’ love that kid. So shut the fahk up about used Chevy’s or I’ll smash ya fahkin’ head in. Also, my name’s not fahkin’ Glen. It’s Ben!”
What do you think? Are pre-owned Chevy’s a worthwhile contender for your car-buying dollar? And even more importantly, would you take the advice of 4 out of 5 Glen(n)s…or side with Ben? Choose carefully, because Ben’s f*cking pissed.