Ford Verve: First design the customer, then the car

Ford Verve: First design the customer, then the car

Successful marketing starts with defining your ideal customer. Who are you trying to appeal to? A product, service or sales message aimed at, say, Wall Street investment bankers (boo hiss) would obviously be very different from one targeted at teenage girls.

Ford had the same idea in mind when it was designing its latest model, the Verve. (Aside: The Verve is another example of “product reincarnation.” It’s really just a Ford Fiesta, brought back to life for a new generation.)

Ford’s Verve was custom designed especially for “Antonella,” an attractive 28-year old woman who lives in Rome. Her life is focused on friends and fun, clubbing and parties.

She is also completely imaginary. Antonella is an avatar, a fictional character that is the embodiment of Ford’s Ideal Customer, as the NY Times put it.

“Antonella was the guiding personality for the Ford Verve, a design study that served as the basis for the latest-generation Fiesta. A character invented by Ford designers to help them imagine cars better tailored to their intended customers, she embodies a philosophy that guides the company‚Äôs design studios these days: to design the car, first design the driver.”

Have you “designed” your ideal customer yet? It’s the perfect place to start your marketing, or to reinvent / repackage your tired product or service. Who would you like to have as a customer? Age? Sex? Income? Attitudes?

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