According to this Ad Age article, the car-buying experience is set to become a hyper-personal thing…at least for the new all-electric Leaf from Nissan:
Those who buy a Leaf when it becomes available later this year will be in for quite the one-to-one marketing experience. This is not a car that can be plugged into any outlet: Buyers will have to undergo an electrical education and a visit from an electrician to inspect their home and make sure their wiring is up to snuff — and a possible upgrade if it's not.
"There will be an individual conversation with every customer that goes through the purchase process for the Leaf," said Mark Perry, director-product planning at Nissan North America, said. "Some of it will be web-based, but it is going to be an individual communication."
That's pretty cool! A major tenet of experiential marketing promotes individual communication — a two-way conversation among people — as the paradigm of future marketing. Sometimes, people will actually pay to have that communication. In Nissan's case, people pay for being hand-raisers and future Leaf owners.
Beginning on April 20, consumers have had to fork over a refundable $99 registration fee to secure a Leaf; Mr. Perry said this helped the automaker identify people who were serious about purchasing the car.
From there, Nissan sets up a home survey with certified electricians identified by the automaker to make sure their garage is plug-in ready. (The installation of the home-charging stations will be done by a company called Aerovironment.) If an upgrade is necessary, potential buyers will get an estimate on the cost. Nissan hasn't yet decided on whether it will charge for the home survey or just for the charger.
Marketing as service. Service as marketing. That's an experience. Enough said.