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1. How will Toyota attain leadership in the hybrid electric vehicle segment?
The attaining of leadership in the hybrid electric vehicle segment depends first of all on the innovation technologies, design, price policy and correct marketing communications.
Toyota Motor Company is the current leader of this industry with more than 3.0 million hybrids sold by February 2011. According to the latest sales data Toyota Prius is the top selling hybrid in both the U.S. and Japanese markets and the sales have reached 2.0 million in September 30, 2010.
2. What strategy should Toyota use to communicate that HEV are available and have a performance capabilities on par with current vehicles?
In its marketing communications Toyota should make an emphasis on ecological advantages and on safety of HEVs for the customer.
3. What can the Toyota marketing department do to develop advertising and marketing strategies to attain leadership in the segment?
In order to improve its advertising and marketing strategies and build better audience coverage, Toyota marketing department can include a traditional media to its media mix as well, for example national TV.
4. How does Toyota develop the demographic profile to evolve the perception of HEV technology from a niche product to a mainstream product?
Toyota has conducted a few researches and consumer studies and it is focused on increasing consumer acceptance and perception of HEV technology.
5. How will the marketing and advertising efforts translate with the introduction of the Lexus RX Hybrid SUV and the rest of the Toyota line?
Toyota is aimed to completely change the future of the vehicles and technology. Therefore it creates awareness about HEV new product and builds its strategic advantages over traditional cars. There will be no harm to the rest of the Toyota line because according to its strategic plan, all Toyota vehicles in the US will be available with hybrid technology.
6. What segments should Toyota focus on to expand the target market for mainstream acceptance?
First of all, the marketing strategy for HEV should target the young audience, 25-35 y.o. The reason is that the young people are more environmentally oriented. Also, youngsters create the biggest share of the trendsetters. Therefore, they will spread the fashion trend of HEV among the other more conservative age groups.
7. What does Toyota need to do to reassure consumers that the technology is dependable and supportable?
In order to reassure consumers in reliability of HEV technology it needs to conduct a series of independent public tests of HEV with trustful institutions and then spread the results of these tests among the audience via media.
8. If you worked for Saatchi and Saatchi, Toyota’s new advertising agency, what decisions would you make to advertise and market HEVs?
The current Toyota emphasis on the “green” culture, harmony and environmental issues in its advertising is really good. I enjoy the positive and bright notes of their current advertisements. But in my opinion, to attract the masses you need to communicate the fashion element of HEV and its technical characteristics. And, of course, the slight tint of humour may be used in the advertisements, because it helps to establish a better contact with the target audience.

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