Take a look at the picture above.
Let’s put together a likely scenario of the people who own this home and truck. The truck is a 2011 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. Conservatively, the owner of this truck left the dealership about $45,000 lighter.
The home behind the truck probably sits on 10 acres and is finished with top-quality materials. It could easily be an $800,000 home. Now, when the owners of this home hop in their new truck to head to the store to stock up on ammunition, 30/30 rifles, duck blinds, camping gear and fishing rods, where do you suppose they’ll go? Wal-Mart?
I’m not going to stoop into meaningless stereotypes here, but simple marketing rules say these people are not exactly Wal-Mart’s target market.
Wal-Mart carved its niche in the world by undercutting everyone else on price, driving locally owned businesses into the ground and bringing in shoppers focused more on value than an upscale shopping experience. Wal-Mart is a price-driven success. The Ram brand of pickups is all about experience. The ability to haul heavy loads, tow large horse trailers and traverse paths to unknown wilderness camping spots. Price, while an important part of the equation, isn’t as imperative to buyers as the brand experience.
That is why I hesitated when I read that Chrysler and Wal-Mart are working together to promote the Ram line of pickups. Details of the promotion aren’t available, but from what I gather the campaign will be a mix of in-store advertising and television spots.
Marissa Hunter, head of Ram advertising, said,
The role of these spots is twofold. First, continue to create overall awareness about the capability of the full Ram lineup. Second, do so in a manner that inspires consumers to think differently about the Ram Truck brand.
When I think of the Ram brand, I think of words like “toughness,” “brute,” “work” and “outdoors.” I would assume that is pretty universal among truck buyers, so what change does Miss Hunter hope to inspire? If “bargain-basement value” is among those things, that’s fine, but it’ll leave holes in the “toughness” market that the Blue Oval and the Bowtie will happily fill.
Wal-Mart and Ram co-marketing doesn’t make sense to me. Does it to you?