In the current market of growing globalization and more temptations pulling at the consumers, companies have to work hard to be the consumers’ “choice brand”. In the consumers’ mind when one good or bad experience can make or break the relationship, maintaining a positive perception over the years is a hard objective to achieve. This is how Acura won me over.
When I first graduated from college and got my first full-time job, it was quite an exciting change in my life. Although I had always held part-time jobs and internships throughout college, I was barely making ends meet and was a quintessential “struggling college student”. So naturally when I began to make better money, my-not-yet-so-responsible-self traded in my leased Honda Accord for an upgrade. In searching for a car that was affordable but fitting for a 22-year-old, I decided on the Acura RSX, a two-door sports car. It was my very own and gave me a sense of pride and joy – until I got into a car accident.
One month into my car ownership, I was traveling on the I-5 North at 9:00 pm when the pick-up truck in front of me suddenly swerved to the right and exposed a love seat in the middle of the lane. My natural response kicked in and I also swerved to the right but over-corrected to the left and hit the center divider and came to a halting stop. My airbag had deployed and wheels twisted from the impact – insurance deemed it totaled. Thankfully, I walked away with only a scratchs and my life intact.
After several days of dealing with insurance and overcoming the trauma of the accident, it was once again time to decide on a replacement car…just one month later. I was extremely impressed by the safety qualities of Acura as I was sure the end result of the accident could have been much worse. Even though my initial decision to purchase the Acura RSX was somewhat arbitrary, Acura had won my loyalty for life with my experience in the accident. This time around, I wisely chose to be a bit more cautious and stayed away from the shiny two-door sports car and decided on a four-door sedan – Acura TL Type-S. I felt that even if it is not a sports car, the Type-S gave it a bit of flare that fit my more-cautious 22-year-old self – it was the perfect middle ground.
Although it is not unique to Acura alone in the automobile industry, it positioned its products with escalating and differentiating features that attract different segments of the population. The RSX appealed to me as a 22-year-old, adventurous, and budget conscious self, whereas the TL Type-S appealed to the still-22-year-old, but more conservative, and value minded self. Once it proved itself for its safety features, it offered an array of products that gave me options that met my changing needs. As I enter into the next phase of my life and in possession of my aging car, I am still loyal to the Acura brand and in contemplating a more family friendly car, my initial preference leans toward the Acura MDX, which now appeals to my 30-something, practical minded self. Despite the stiff competition by BMW X-5, Lexus RX, and Audi Q5, and many others that offer similar features compared to the MDX, Acura makes sure its products grow with the changing demands of the customers and targets to earn my business for life and not simply a “phase” in my life.