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Maverick's Morning Thoughts

Why Aren't People Buying Electric Vehicles: Marketing, Branding or Product?

by Maverick Steffen on 12/3/2023

The world is rapidly transitioning toward sustainability, so the relatively slow adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) poses a significant question: Is the issue with marketing, branding, or the product itself?

Governments globally (including my own USA) are intensifying efforts to shift from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources, significantly influencing the automotive industry.

These efforts include incentives for EV manufacturing and propositions to ban traditional fuel-powered vehicles in the near future-- I think it's 9 states here in America banning them by 2035. Despite these aggressive measures, consumer uptake of EVs is not as... (what is a good word here?)... all embracing as anticipated.

Consumers generally favor efficiency and environmental friendliness.

However, when it comes to EVs, there's a notable disconnect between desire and action.

The crux of the issue often lies in efficiency per dollar spent. In economically challenging times which we are clearly in, immediate financial concerns trump long-term environmental considerations. The higher initial cost of EVs can be a deterrent, overshadowing their long-term benefits.

However, "the average cost to fuel an electric car was $485 a year, compared to $1,117 for a gas-powered vehicle."

"If electric vehicles are not selling, it is not a product issue; it is a marketing failure. As marketers, we must rise to the challenge, making consumers feel as though their life is empty, meaningless and PAINFUL without our products in their hands."

In tight economic periods, consumers prioritize immediate financial impact over long-term environmental benefits.

This mindset can delay the transition to more sustainable practices like adopting EVs, despite understanding their necessity for environmental preservation.

It's crucial for car manufacturers to recognize that selling EVs is their responsibility, not just making consumers aware of environmental issues.

Similar to a wide receiver in football who doesn't blame the quarterback for a challenging throw, marketers must adapt and excel, irrespective of the product's complexities. That's how touchdowns are scored.

As marketers, it's not our job to question the product but to refine and perfect the marketing strategy.

Our role is to effectively communicate the value of a product, in accordance with the emotional needs of the market, and then capitalize on those emotions with facts that force the market to justify their emotions to begin with, ensuring selling success.

We must be the masters of creating perceptions, despite what the grim reality may be. It is our job to sell products, and then let the market vote with their dollars. Now we may choose which clients we take on, but once that decision is made... well, one never changes their uniform nor drops their weapon on a battlefield--our job is to win, win, win and plant our products' flag at the top of its respective mountain. If that is an issue, get the heck out of this game.

After all, when I was lighting fools up in Afghanistan, it wasn't my job to judge their values or morality, it was my job to wax them. So if your extremist father, cousin, uncle, son, husband or nephew didn't come back to their terrorist-funded hut at 5pm, it's because they met the best SAW Gunner in the 82nd Airborne. Cheers!

If EVs aren't selling, it is not a product issue; it is a marketing failure.

As marketers, we must rise to the challenge, making consumers feel as though their life is empty, meaningless and painful without our products in their hands. Is there any way to sell something? How does one make the lives of consumers feel empty, et al without an electric vehicle? This is the message we are waiting to see.

To your success!


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