Essay Preview: Rheatta
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Recommendations: After a review and analysis of the entire case, I feel that positioning the car as a “sporty” one is perhaps the best option available to Buick. However, they need to work on the product to improve its technology and speed before its launch as already discussed above. It can also introduce some customization features to differentiate itself from its competitors and improve its perception of value.
In terms of price, it seems to be priced appropriately, although Buick can consider promotional offers in the beginning. A price slightly lower may also push up sales because the primary customers in this segment would be the youth, who are not generally very extravagant with their purchase. However, Buick has to consider its capital expenditure and sales projections to be able to decide whether it can afford a price cut.
Promotion is a very important piece of this game plan as already identified by IRI in its research report. Buick will have to take up heavy advertising to come out of its pervious image of a luxury car for senior citizens. Proper advertising highlighting its trendy image, both through electronic and print media, to touch upon the awareness of beginners and repeat purchasers would be very essential.
The primary channel of distribution would definitely be franchisee dealers. Company owned dealers may be too costly to justify. However, dealers/sales force would have to be appropriately educated to change their promotional style as compared to the other Buick lines and highlight its important features. Highlighting its advantages over those of its competitors, like price, customization etc would be very important. Buick could even consider a Customer loyalty program for its current customers and future purchasers of Buick Reatta so that it can rely on word of mouth publicity and referrals. Starting a reward program for referrals would definitely promote customer retention as well as promote new customers. On top of all these, it also needs to provide high quality service to compete with its rivals and establish a solid customer and dealer base. A reward program for dealers who make the largest number of Reatta sales might also motivate dealers into more effort in making Reatta sales than others.