In today’s day-and-age, it seems that a successful business acumen has little to do with picking one area of focus and performing well in that particular area. The desire for growth, expansion and synergy-fueled cross-marketing opportunities have made it tempting for major corporations and their subsidiaries to dip their toes in the proverbial pools of both neighbors and strangers alike. Take Ford (more specifically, the Ford Certified program) for example.
Originally designed to increase the value proposition of previously-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs, certified programs provide greater transparency of vehicle histories and greater assurances of their reliability in the future.
According to Ford’s newly-appointed VP of Consumer Experience, Elena A. Ford, “As we approach 2020, our expectations have changed regarding, well, almost everything. Technology has enabled us with an expectation of both immediacy and accuracy. As such we expect transparency and full-disclosure in everything that we do. Retailers and manufacturers recognize this growing prevalence of the ‘well-informed consumer’ and can choose to view it either as an obstacle or an opportunity. At Ford, we consider it to be the latter. Expectations provide a perfect means for us to expand and strengthen the bond between Ford Motor Company and our valued customers in new and exciting ways. It also provides an unprecedented avenue to be taken in the courtship of the highly-coveted Generation Y, and upcoming Gen-Z demographics.”
What are we talking about? Well, let’s pump the brakes and explore statistics which might initially feel disconnected from the topic at hand.
According to eHarmony, over 40% of Americans utilize online dating of some form, be it app-based (Tinder) or site-based. Of those users, men make up approximately 52.4% of users, with the remaining 47.6% of users being women. And if those statistics didn’t already place women users at a disadvantage, consider that statistics show that the desirability of female users peaks at age 21. Considering that 60% of female Tinder users claim to be seeking a connection (not just a hook-up) they have their work cut out for them.
But according to Elena Ford (no relation), “Ford aims to change this by revolutionizing the idea of online dating for our customers. Using certified vehicle programs as the basis for our success, we will invite single Ford customers to create an online dating profile which we will then cross-reference against a background check for accuracy. This will allow interested parties to see more than just a pretentious headshot and a carefully-crafted bio. We’ll be including a full breakdown of education, dating and medical history, as well as a tastefully non-specific financial profile. Only after an applicant has passed our grueling process will a profile become active for other users to interact with.”
Ford believes that such an immersive lifestyle-centric service would strengthen brand identity in the eyes of the younger consumer. What do you think? Would you want Ford picking out your next dinner companion, sexual partner, and/or potential spouse?