Monday, April 11, 2011

The danger of overpromising - BMW does it

There is nothing so dangerous as advertising which over-promises. As the saying goes, "nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising." For example, BMW advertising implies that a BMW Certified pre-owned car is as good as a new one. Imagine the disappointment if this is not true. When a car company relies on a dealer to represent the company, disappointment can soon follow. My son recently bought a 3 year old Certified pre-owned car - his third BMW and the first to be bought from a dealer. His previous ones were older and purchased from private owners, yet he had fewer initial problems than with this one. Yet, all dealers stack the deck by strongly asking customers to only give them a top grade when the car company sends a survey to the customer. This is completely counter-productive, and should not be allowed by the car company. Apple retail stores do not allow it and if they discover it, a firing offense. Yet car companies must be aware of it and therefore are conspiring to invalidate their own research. Even when the customer does give excellent ratings, they are usually resentful about the pressure.
However, as a result of this over-claim, BMW has disappointed and since word of mouth is so powerful the company probably will lose sales, even of new cars. Interestingly, while many companies now track online comments, I have found that the least effective companies do not. I would be intrigued to see if BMW does - I know that Kia pays close attention to online comment.

No comments: