Monday, February 1, 2010

Do I Still Trust Toyota?

The purpose of "branding" is to build a prospects' faith and trust in your product or service. It's marketing 101.

Toyota aced Marketing 101. The word "Toyota" stood for long-lasting and dependable cars in many minds, paving the way for the company to become the world's largest automaker, selling 8.5 million automobiles in 2008.

One of those 8.5 million cars happened to be purchased by me: a 2009 Corolla.

For the most part I am satisfied too. However, I have owned the car less than two years and last week it was recalled for the second time in months. The first recall was in the spring of 2009 where the breaks needed to be fixed to prevent an increased risk of break failure in cold temperatures.

Then 10 days ago, Toyota issued a recall of 2.3 million vehicles that may be affected by a faulty gas pedal; a problem that already resulted in casualties.

How well Toyota reacted in crisis is up for debate. They didn't completely understand the root of the problems wanted to get that correct first as to only spread facts.

However, silence can be just as devastating. The updates trickled out slowly and were cluttered with rumors and hearsay because Toyota didn't lead the conversation. And to this very moment, I have yet to receive a letter or an email from Toyota.

As consumers, we put our lives in the hands of companies everyday- from the cars we drive to the planes we fly to the food we eat. We risk it; but no brand wants to be known for reminding us of this.

If they do, faith and trust may take on a whole new meaning; one the consumer is very uncomfortable with.

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