Drivers put their vehicles in a new gear:  “P”

Issue:

A recent story from the Detroit Free Press that also appeared in USA Today explains that while they haven't been commuting as often, plenty of people are making good use of their car: In the driveway. When you work-from-home and the house gets a bit noisy, some people are finding their car the perfect place to conduct that conference call or Zoom meeting. When you want to escape, a "drive to nowhere" is one way to get a change of scenery. Some parents cited heading to the garage when they simply need to get away from the kids.

Opportunity/Idea:

The most obvious thing that comes to mind, here, is how car dealerships (and dealer groups and manufacturers) could be showcasing their product line not as a truck or car, but as a cocoon; a last bastion of personal space. (I can picture an adult at peace behind the wheel in an SUV that's parked in the driveway… while kids and mayhem are making noise in the yard just outside.) But as you're talking with home improvement companies, realtors or home furnishings stores, this story is a solid illustration about the need to compartmentalize their home a bit, and carve a little "me time" in the form of a new office, she-shed or man cave.

Ways you might use this issue to gain an appointment:

  • For a car dealership: "We're always looking for new angles of attack. I have an idea for you that we'll think of as "the get-away sale." If you can find 20 minutes for me, I can explain what that looks like! (Work with your creative team to build a promotion; consider a gift card to coffee shop with a test drive, or a gift card to a restaurant drive-through with a purchase.) "Don't just think of it as a car. Think of it as a sanctuary… or a home office upgrade. Meanwhile, check out this story from USA Today."
  • For a home services company or even a realtor: "I thought of you when I read this story in USA Today about how people are using their cars differently. We could literally start a commercial with the idea that, "If this is how you're using your car… you have the wrong house." Then, we can explain how a new home—or the right remodeling project—can make you feel at home without moving to the garage. Home offices, home theatre, or just a quiet sanctuary in your bedroom. Can you find a few minutes to discuss this idea further?"

Using this issue in a Needs Analysis:

  • For a car dealership: Do you find people looking for different options in their vehicle now, compared to pre-pandemic and work-from-home? What are the most sought-after attributes now that people are using their vehicles in widely different ways?
  • For a realtor or home improvement company: When people start shopping for a new home (or considering a fresh home improvement), these days, what problem are they most often trying to solve? How are people using their homes differently now than they were last year at this time?

Sources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2020/08/31/people-how-they-use-cars-coronavirus/5678255002/

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