Audi is claiming women want butch, masculine, testosterone-saturated designs when it comes to their automobiles. Though it isn’t clear if they’re doing this because the automaker conducted extensive research on the matter or because they happen to be selling a muscular-looking crossover they’re really hoping will be popular with women.
Truth be told, while we wouldn’t have expected male and female tastes to perfectly overlap, we didn’t know that women were biased toward vehicular beefcake one way or the other.
Gad Saad is an evolutionary behavioral scientist who is a professor of marketing at Concordia University in Canada. He’s also an associate editor of the journal Evolutionary Psychology and writes a popular blog for Psychology Today. Some have called him part of the “intellectual dark web”, a diverse group of heterodox academics who are willing to tack against the prevailing winds of thought conformity on today’s college campuses.
Saad applies the principals of evolutionary biology to consumers, but he uses the word consumers in its broadest definition, not just buyers, as humans make many choices about how we use many things. One area of his research has been how hormones affect consumers and also how consuming can affect hormones, in both sexes. For example, when men drive Porsches, their testosterone levels go up.
Now it can be told: About ten years ago, my pal Rodney was an employee at NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway Company(™). Not for long, however. He was fired for making a very specific suggestion to his female boss. TTAC is a family-friendly site, so the best way I can rephrase what he said would be this: “If you (meaning the boss) were to let me (meaning Rodney) aggressively sodomize you in the company bathroom, not only would you experience a form of pleasure with which you are currently not acquainted, it would also result in a significant change in your management style, for the better, particularly as it relates to me, as you would then experience submissive feelings whenever you spoke to me.”
I should point out that Rodney was speaking from honest experience here, having convinced at least two other women in the corporation to participate in similar activities.
“This time, however, I was the one who got f***ed,” Rodney mournfully confessed to me a few days later. “The worst part is that this put a real crimp in my plans for Obsidian Black.”
“Obsidian Black?” I replied, like I’d been the recent recipient of a traumatic brain injury.
“Obsidian Black,” Rodney clarified.
Women play a very large role in the purchase of new vehicles, and automakers are scrambling to tap into the demographic — among them, the staid, dignified and traditionally male-centric Mercedes-Benz.
The German automaker wants to throw off that old image and make itself the top premium car brand for women by 2020, according to Automotive News.
No-haggle pricing! It’s kind of the zombie of the auto industry. How, you ask? Well:
- Touching it makes your dealership sick
- It periodically comes back from the dead
- The nerd/geek crowd loves to talk about it
- It doesn’t actually exist
It’s also typically something that’s embraced by losers, whether the “loser” in question is a troubled dealership trying to remake its image after a complete decapitation of the leadership/ownership, a troubled brand trying to differentiate itself ( Scion), or a troubled automaker clutching at straws in the face of overwhelming competition (General Motors, with Saturn). But Lexus, the latest brand to give it a shot, doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loser”. Its lineup is bulletproof, both in terms of durability and customer perception. Its dealers are obscenely profitable and generally immune to the worst of the customer-abuse excesses for which mainline Toyota stores are justifiably famous.
So why jump on a strategy that has never, ever worked for any brand that doesn’t own the majority of its retail outlets? Perhaps the answer has something to do with Ellen Pao.
Last month, Honda released its annual Sustainability Report outlining the company’s position and direction under its new CEO Takahiro Hachigo.
Outlined on Page 73 of its 104-page report, Honda admits its number of female managers in Japan is quite low.
Well, actually 0.5-percent low.
A recent study by iSeeCars.com shows men prefer brighter, bolder car colors — orange, brown and yellow — compared to women, who preferred more neutral colors such as gold, silver and beige. The study analyzed more than 25 million used cars and 200,000 shoppers.
Orange was the big polarizer for 2014; men were 25 percent more likely to pick that color than women. Last year’s popular picks for men, red and black, fell out of the top three this year in favor of brown and yellow.
Women’s picks of gold, silver and beige may have more to do with the segment in which females traditionally shop. iSeeCars said men’s interest in muscle cars can help explain the palette preferences.
A woman and her horse: the pairing that GM hopes will persuade female consumers to consider the Chevrolet line of trucks. At a time when truck ads are pushing masculinity to absurd heights, it’s a bold move. Even so, it’s a fundamentally conservative approach to a difficult marketing problem.
While I was working for the German auto industry (and that wasn’t that long ago), I used to call it the last outpost of unabashed male chauvinism. From dealers (where female customers are treated with disdain) to the boardroom (where women serve coffee), the business remains a man’s world. BMW wants to do something about it. Come on, BMW?
Is good old machismo dying in Brazil? On the eve of Women’s International Day (May 8), women are now held responsible for buying up to 40 percent of brand new cars in Brazil, and are said to influence over 80 percent of purchases. According to well-known Brazilian news site Globo, those are the numbers. But what motivates a woman to buy a car in Brazil?
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- Lou_BC I'm confused, isn't a Prologue a preview? This would be a preview of a preview.
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- Tre65688381 Definitely more attractive than it's German rivals, but I'd still rather have the standard GV80. One of the best looking mid size SUV/Crossovers on the road, in my opinion. And the updates for 2024 hone it gently in the right direction with more tasteful but subtle changes.