Surviving the Process of Elimination

“There are a lot of layers of competition to get through . . . the challenge that Chevrolet has in marketing . . . How do you get them into the seat to even drive the car?”

Tom Shellworth, 30-year Chevrolet Dealer
[As quoted in The Wall Street Journal, May 23, 2005, p. B1,
“Struggling GM Rolls Out a New Marketing Strategy.”]

There are over 300 make-model combinations (brands) of automobiles available to today's consumers, but the average consumer seriously considers fewer than 10. For the other 300 or so brands, the game is over before it begins. Even if Chevrolet really does make a better automobile, most consumers will not give it a chance by comparing it against other brands and will never set foot in Tom Shellworth's showroom.