As a means of counteracting the “employee pricing” promotions offered by other car manufacturers, Mitsubishi in September announced that it would give new car buyers a year of free gas (given away as a prepaid debit card).
The incremental cost of the promotion was minimal (giving a debit card vs. cash back at the point of sale), but the impact on sales has been great (sales up 7.2% over the same period last year), and the company also reports that positive brand perception has increased.
This was all about positioning. How do you create value for your customers by taking advantage of an inherent need? In this case, it was a concern over the rising cost of gas. Mitsubishi is telling its customers that it, too, knows that gas prices are a concern, and they’re helping to address that in their promotions.
Smart move, and it’s clearly paying off.