Soundview Executive Book Summaries

Repositioning on Four Wheels

If you’re like many Americans, you’ll probably spend a portion of the Independence Day holiday weekend sitting in traffic. Somewhere between muttered curses toward rubbernecking motorists and the realization that you should have stopped at the previous rest area, you may lament the amount of gas your engine is burning while idling on the highway. At times like this, we tend to speculate about the arrival of the electric car as a permanent replacement for internal combustion engines.

Here’s an interesting piece about that very topic from the New York Times. The article profiles automaker BMW’s public commitment to changing the way we approach automotive engineering. The company is in the process of designing a battery-powered car. I have to give extra credit to reporter Jack Ewing for a sly backhanded remark about the potential audience for the vehicle. Did you spot it? Perhaps I’ll reveal it in a future post if you send me a few comments with your guesses.

Clever reporting aside, the story and BMW’s efforts fit with the theme of Jack Trout’s recent book Repositioning: Marketing in an Era of Competition, Change and Crisis, a book recently summarized by Soundview Executive Book Summaries. Trout makes the case in the book that the normal approaches to marketing are undergoing a shift. Companies that traditionally positioned themselves need to reevaluate their standing. The solution is to reposition oneself by using the competition and its differences to help set your company apart.

BMW is certainly making strides in this area. If the company can blend luxury with environmental consciousness, its competitors will see nothing but BMW’s taillights disappearing in the distance.

If you want to learn more about the changing tide of eco-business, check out our summary collection Going Green for more tips that can help your business.


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