Bad Marketing

One of the side discussions my boss and I often partake in at work are dissecting examples of good business and bad business in the outside world.

An example of bad business we have discussed on a few occasions are the Muller car dealership radio commercials, which have various Honda, Acura and Subaru dealerships throughout Chicagoland.

The signature ending for their commercials is recited by the owner Mike Muller, who says “you will not be disappointed.” To my boss’s point, “you will not be disappointed” is an awful way to end a sales pitch. So while a customer may not be disappointed, what kind of positive emotion might that person feel after doing business there? There is nothing inspiring about “you will not be disappointed.”

While I do agree with his take, I have a few of my own added takeaways after hearing some of their more recent spots.

One of the commercials includes a handful of employees introducing themselves and identifying how long they’ve been employed by Muller. The sentiment is supposed to be that that their people make the difference and that you’d be happy to do business with them.

Another commercial of theirs goes the opposite direction by emphasizing that a Muller is always in the house, which to me suggests that it is the presence of a Muller family member that is the difference maker in one’s car buying experience there. While probably not what they were going for, that spot portrays their belief that the presence of a Muller family member is necessary to ensure things are running smoothly, which suggests they don’t trust their employees which undermines the efforts of the other commercial.

When I bought my last car, the experience I had at that dealership (not Muller owned) was great. I hope to have a repeat experience there the next time I attempt to buy a car.

It was a great experience. Certainly a lot better than not being disappointed.

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