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Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational corporation with markets worldwide. Though Honda is popularly known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles, the company’s manufacturing range varies from motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATV), power generators, and garden equipment, to marine engines.
An effective marketing communication strategy should make a business thrive amidst fierce competition. From the initial step of raising products’ awareness to segmented marketing, marketing communication strategies should be infused with innovation, integrated communication plans and strong public relationship measures. Honda has established well-planned marketing communication strategies and ensured that segmented marketing is done carefully with specific niche products, which suited the customers’ demands.
Honda has carved a unique positioning for its automobiles in the United States, ever since it landed up in the 1960s. The Harley Davidson bikes were dominant in the United States two-wheeler market segment during that period. Honda had brought in the Super Cub bikes, which became a major success among the young buyers. The buyers preferred inexpensive and convenient transportation for around the town trips, rather than relying on heavily-built Harley Davidson bikes. Honda’s emphasis on marketing was show cased by its popular marketing catchword “You meet the nicest people on a Honda,” which reinforced the impression of completeness, countering Harley Davidson’s outsider image (BCG, 1975).
As a result of its successful marketing communication strategies, Honda was able to dominate the US market and had spread its operations in more than 97 countries worldwide. Even in developing countries like India, Honda Motors bagged eight prices during the second edition of the India Best Brand Survey Awards in 2009. The company has got three prizes in the four wheeler segment alone, including Good Advertising, Very Reliable Brand, and Environment Friendly vehicles.
The brand equity for Honda is so strong that American Honda Motor goes steady with its Ridgeline, Odyssey, Accord Crosstour and Civic Hybrid car brands emerge as segment winners in 2011 Total Quality Index, declared by Strategic Vision Inc. The competitors could not able to match the standard pickup, minivan, mid-size multi-function and small car segments as Honda leads all these segments.
Honda is a brand known for innovation and quality. Honda has never indulged in aggressive promotional activities but ensured that customers get superior quality products with better customer service. Honda has been precise and particularly careful in the advertisements. The company invariably promoted their image as a most dependable brand fortified with advanced technology. Honda came up with unique television commercials, in which the company promoted their hybrid car as one of the best fuel-efficient models. While the competitors focused on other areas such as price and design, Honda’s advertisements projected its eco friendly image and passion for latest technologies, which in turn assured the customers that they can reap utmost benefits.
The Civic model, launched in 1973 is a smaller sized car, which was a revolutionary departure from the large cars that dominated automobile lots during the 1970s. Gradually, the Civic model worked its way into the mainstream car industry. The oil crisis and the US Clean Air Act ensured that the sales for Honda skyrocketed as people preferred cars that met the new standards. Due to these competitive advantages, Honda is still ranking high among other environmental friendly car models. The marketing communication strategy highlighted these advantages to the customers successfully and the competition could not able to match Honda’s strategies.
Today, Honda’s name is popularly seen in almost every market……………………………………