View Full Version : BORN IN THE USA! June 12, 2006

06-13-2006, 07:40 PM

A survey shows that 18-34-year-olds prefer domestic brands.

The brand favorites of 18-to-34-year-olds when it comes to what they eat and drink, where they shop, and what they drive are as American as Ray Kroc, Sam Walton and Henry Ford.

McDonald’s, WalMart, and Ford top the choices of this marketing-demographic-to-die-for, according to the most recent Scarborough survey of more than 210,000 Americans.

Though their numbers are 10 million less than the 42-60-year-old baby boomers, 18-34s’ longer life expectancies give brands a longer crack at snagging their brand loyalties. That has made this demographic the Holy Grail of the marketing world.

So far, you can color their preferences red, white and blue.

Their buy-American attitude is even more pronounced in their choice of vehicles – 30.4 percent said they lived in a household that has a new or used Ford in the driveway, more than twice as many as imports Toyota and Honda. And it’s not just young people who live at home and drive their parents’ cars – Ford still held a two-to-one across-the-board edge when Scarborough split up the demographic between 18-25s and 25-34s.

Why Ford? “It is likely that the wide range of Ford vehicle types and price points provide this consumer group with choices that suit their active lifestyle, as well as with pricing options to meet their family budget,” says Alisa Joseph, vice president of advertiser marketing services, Scarborough Research.

“The 18-34 year old consumers who live in households that have a Ford in the driveway are more likely than others in their age group to be home owners and have young children,” Joseph adds. “They enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities, including camping, snowboarding, and boating, and require vehicles that meet their demographic needs and their personal interests.”

Scarborough breaks that down further. Ford-owning 18-34s are, compared to their non-Ford owning contemporaries:

12 percent more likely to own their homes.
12 percent more likely to be married.
10 percent more likely to have young children at home.
13 percent more likely to go camping, 17 percent more likely to go fishing, and 42 percent more likely to go hunting.
14 percent more likely to powerboat.
11% more likely to snowboard.

By John Fossen, FCN

Commitment, Teamwork Keys to Successful Launch

Ford’s successful launch of three critically important products was confirmed recently by two important quality surveys – one internal and one external.

J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Initial Quality Study ranked Lincoln Zephyr second in its segment, Entry Premium Car. Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan were ranked above industry average in their segment, Midsize Car. Fusion placed fourth in the crowded vehicle segment.

Earlier this spring, Ford received results from internal surveys showing that Fusion customers, after driving their new cars for three months, rank their vehicles on reliability equal to or better than best-in-class competitors.

Brian Vought, former chief engineer who oversaw the Fusion, Milan and Zephy launch, says there was no magic in what was accomplished. There was discipline.

"We set high objectives, used existing tools and processes, and tenaciously chased every single issue -- as soon as surfaced -- until it was resolved," said Vought. "The team adopted the mindset that good enough, isn't good enough. It was a lot of hard work and attention to every little detail by a lot of extremely dedicated people."

One thing the team did differently was to require each engineer to obtain approval from his or her functional chief on their component or system test plan. About 90 percent of the plans were changed following the review, eliminating potential costly and time-consuming redesigns and additional tests later in the program.

The team also readily embraced every possible quality-enhancing process and tool that it could find. There was considerable focus on fundamental design because Vought believes that many times the simplest solution is the best solution.

"For example, you don't need triple and quadruple seals on doors to achieve good wind noise," he explained. "What you need is good basic design of a primary and secondary seal that works to its maximum effectiveness."

Good communication and teamwork were also critical to the successful launch. Team members worked together to solve issues and make necessary design changes, even if those changes cost money.

"There could be no compromising quality,” Vought said. “In the end, though, we were able to manage our costs to hit our financial targets for the program.”

Vought says the most important thing he learned from this launch is that he now knows, without a doubt, that Ford can introduce a new vehicle with quality levels as good or better than any competitor.

"We can compete with the best. The tools are there. The processes are there. You just have to have the attitude and the commitment," he said.

Ford Media Staff