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Marketing Lessons From The Toyota Prius

  • Ad Age, Thursday, May 29, 2008 9:45 AM
The Prius has been a success for Toyota in more ways than one: Not only has it appealed to the "deep green" demographic-those who place the environment among their top priorities-it's become a favorite among people who simply want to do no harm. How did Toyota accomplish that, and what can marketers learn from it?

For one thing, the car itself is stylish and attractive, which means consumers don't have to look like they're driving around in half a car in order to cut pollution. Add to that the celebrity factor-luminaries like Leo and Gwyneth proudly tooling around town in their Priuses-and you take care of any lingering image concerns non-environmentalists might have.

Keeping image first meant bringing in the environment second, which was a masterstroke. Because everyone is an environmentalist at heart, the eco-friendly aspects of the Prius became more of a tie breaker for consumers than a motivating factor. All things being equal, who won't choose the car that wreaks less havoc on the environment and saves you dollars at the pump?



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