Jeep is an automobile company, which was established in 1941 in the US. The firm is a subsidiary of Chrysler Group Limited Liability Company, which is owned by Fiat S.P.A and it is headquartered at Toledo, Ohio. Jeep has expanded its operations into the global market by establishing outlets in different parts of the world. The company specializes in the production of off-road and sport utility vehicles.
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Jeep has undergone a significant transformation over the past decades by investing in innovation and refinement. It has invested in continuous innovation of its automobiles by investing in engineering. The firm’s innovative capacity has led to the introduction of diverse Jeep brands. In 2011, the firm redesigned the Grand Cherokee by incorporating additional styling cues. Jeep has managed to enhance its competitiveness by investing in continuous innovation.
In addition to innovation, the company appreciates the importance of adopting optimal marketing practices. It is imperative for firms’ management teams to incorporate marketing as one of their strategic marketing practices. Effective marketing enables organizations to develop long-term competitiveness by establishing a strong level of customer loyalty.
The firm’s commitment to marketing is evidenced by diverse aspects such as the adoption of ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’ as its slogan. Currently, the firm’s customers consider the slogan as a way of life. Subsequently, they have developed a high level of customer loyalty towards the Jeep.
This paper is a critique of the ‘Jeep’ brand by assessing how the firm has utilized social media in its marketing practices over the first quarter of 2014. The paper examines how the firm has utilized the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ amongst others in its marketing processes.
Market changes – innovation and change in consumer behavior
The 21st century has been characterized by a high rate of innovation. Subsequently, the intensity of competition has increased significantly. New firms are increasingly entering the market to exploit market profit. Subsequently, most industries have experienced a significant increment in the degree of industry concentration.
Furthermore, firms in different industries have experienced a significant change in information communication technology. Innovation in computer technology has revolutionized information communication technology.
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The past two decades have been characterized by the emergence of diverse web-based technologies. The development of social media platforms, for example, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram amongst others is one of the most notable changes in ICT.
In addition to technological innovation, the market has also been characterized by a significant change in consumer behavior. One of the most notable changes relates to the rate at which consumers are incorporating ICT in their purchase decision-making process. For example, consumers are using the Internet in searching for diverse product and service information.
In addition to the above, consumers are using diverse social media platforms in the process of interacting with their colleagues, family members, and friends.
The emergence of diverse social media platforms has increased the rate of interaction amongst consumers in the global market. In a bid to survive in a market characterized by a high rate of dynamism, it is imperative for firms’ management teams to adjust their strategic management practices to the prevailing market trends.
One of the aspects that the firm should take into account relates to branding. Developing a strong brand is critical in enhancing an organization’s competitiveness. Through effective branding, an organization can deliver product promise and meaning to the target customers, hence developing a strong brand identity. Effective branding improves the level of market awareness, hence increasing the level of acceptability of a particular product in the market.
Application of social media in promoting the Jeep brand
Jeep has integrated diverse social media platforms to attain competitiveness by improving the relevance of its brand. Some of the various ways through which the firm has utilized social media in its marketing activities over the past three months are evaluated herein.
In February 2014, Jeep developed an online marketing campaign through its Twitter platform. The campaign was conducted by adopting the slogan ‘Stay Restless with Jeep Cherokee.’ Restlessness refers to a feeling, which emanates from ones failure to satisfy his or her curiosity.
Furthermore, restlessness makes individuals act on their curiosity. Subsequently, one can assert that restlessness fuels an individual’s ambition. Jeep was motivated to develop the new Jeep Cherokee by appreciating the role of restlessness in the consumers’ behaviors.
The slogan ‘Jeep Stay Restless’ was adopted during the 2014 super bowl match. The firm’s marketing department decided to integrate the slogan to influence consumers to purchase the new automobile. For example, the slogan was aimed at ensuring that customers develop a perception that they can do anything with a jeep, for example, undertaking a get-away trip to hike or skydiving.
Furthermore, the slogan illustrates the ability of Jeep Cherokee to deliver its clients from restless situations by providing them with appealing artistry, superior performance, user-friendly connectivity, and exceptional fuel economy. The images below illustrate commercial that the firm has integrated into its Twitter page.
To create awareness on the existence of the new brand in the market, Jeep developed an official Twitter handle dabbed #stayfree. This has given Jeep an opportunity to interact with its customers. Furthermore, the firm has adopted the slogan ‘Go, Run, Act, Find. Dare’ in its online marketing campaign.
The slogan is aimed at motivating customers to consider the Jeep’s ability to withstand diverse environments. The firm has adopted the handle #getoutthere to stimulate its customers to try new experiences by driving in diverse environments.
Jeep has also adopted Twitter in creating awareness regarding its public relations event. On April 8, 2014, the firm used its Twitter handle in creating awareness regarding an event dubbed the ‘Easter Jeep Safari.’
This goal is being achieved by developing a Twitter page dabbed #EasterJeepSafari through which it interacts with its customers. Jeep also uses its Twitter page to create awareness by posting images of its automobiles in off-road terrain.
YouTube forms part of the social media platforms that are increasingly being utilized by marketers. The effectiveness of YouTube in marketing arises from its cost-effective nature.
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For example, developing a YouTube video does not require any specialized skills. Moreover, a large number of potential customers around the world can view the video by posting it on YouTube. However, it is imperative for marketing managers to ensure that the video posted on YouTube is of high quality.
Considering the prominence of YouTube amongst consumers, Jeep has also incorporated it in its marketing communication. The firm utilizes it by posting videos of its products. This aspect enables the firm to explain the various features of its automobiles. YouTube has provided Jeep with an opportunity to illustrate the off-road capability of its automobiles.
For example, over the past few months, the firm has posted videos of its 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in diverse terrains such as rocky, sandy, hilly, and muddy terrains. The course was specifically designed to illustrate the capability of Trailhawk to perform exemplary in an off-road environment. The video posted also illustrated the power and stability of Trailhawk in off-road conditions.
The video also illustrates how drivers can change the mechanism of the Trailhawk depending on the nature of the ground. Therefore, the video shows the ability to adjust the performance of the new 2014 Jeep Trailhawk to fit the road conditions. Jim Morrison, the firm’s director of brand marketing, conducted the demonstration and 1,130 individuals have viewed the video.
Posting videos of its products on YouTube has played a remarkable role in the firm’s innovative processes. For example, the comments made by consumers have enabled the firm’s marketing department to understand the market response on the new products. Furthermore, the firm can identify market gaps, hence gaining an idea on how to undertake product improvement.
Jeep has also integrated Facebook in its marketing communication. The firm has created a Facebook account through which it interacts with its customers. The firm has continued to use Facebook in positioning its iconic brands, which consumers are increasingly associating with adventure, capability, and freedom.
For example, the firm created awareness of its 2014 Jeep Cherokee by encouraging customers to celebrate the warm weather by going on adventures using the Jeep. Similar to Twitter, Facebook has enabled Jeep to understand the customers’ responses. The firm has obtained relevant market information by understanding the prevailing market criticism.
In an effort to develop a strong brand identity, Jeep has developed a special Facebook account dubbed Jeep Fan Top Five. The account gives customers the opportunity to compete by posting images of Jeep under diverse off-road terrains. The top five images are posted on the Facebook fan page every week. Subsequently, the firm images are in a position to generate comments regarding the images.
The competition plays a critical role in illustrating the performance of the Jeep brand under different conditions — for example, customers post images illustrating the level of stability of the Jeep. The posted images generate compliments and complaints from consumers, hence providing the firm’s management team insight regarding the level of brand identity and loyalty.
Jeeps’ management team recognizes the importance of creating sufficient market awareness by providing customers with diverse product information. Subsequently, the firm has developed a page titled ‘Jeep; One of One Million,’ which allows customers to find out the market position of the Wrangler JK by keying in their Vehicle Identification Number [VIN]. The page also gives consumers an opportunity to build their brand.
For example, customers can describe their Jeep automobile preferences. Consequently, the firm advises the consumers on the most appropriate type of Jeep. Some of the issues that the firm takes into account in its ‘build and price’ campaign through the website include the product features such as the towing capability and engine characteristics such as fuel consumption among others.
Wikis and blogs
The high rate of innovation about information communication technology has led to the development of Wikis and Blogs, which are new social media platforms. Organizations are increasingly utilizing Wikis and Blogs in their marketing communication processes. Jeep has integrated blogs in its marketing processes.
The firm has been in a position to establish open market communication by developing ‘The Jeep Blog’ through which consumers can interact with their customers. Furthermore, the firm is in a position to understand the customers’ compliments and complaints regarding its products and services.
Using blogs has played a critical role in enhancing the Jeep’s public relation efforts. For example, on 16 February 2014, Jeep posted an article on its blog inviting consumers to show their love for their Jeep brand by participating in a ‘Jeep Brand Vehicle Sweepstakes.’
The blog attracted Jeep owners and fans to participate in the marketing process in which they would be offered Jeep brand camping gear. In a bid to participate in the event, fans were required to post a comment on the company’s Facebook page describing their first jeep brand vehicle and why they love their current Jeep brand.
Critique of the performance of Jeep in its social media marketing
Improvement in operational efficiency and credibility
The above analysis shows that Jeep recognizes the importance of integrating social media in its marketing practices. First, social media has enhanced Jeep’s market performance by creating an optimal level of market awareness regarding the Jeep brand. Furthermore, using social media has increased the firm’s ability to undertake continuous improvement in its automobile products.
For example, the firm gains insight into the consumers’ perception regarding the Jeep. Subsequently, Jeep’s management team is in a position to obtain market feedback effectively and efficiently. Moreover, using social media has played a remarkable role in providing the firm’s management team with insight into the level of customer satisfaction.
Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Wikis, Blogs, YouTube, and Twitter has given the firm an opportunity to illustrate the performance of the Jeep brand. Subsequently, social media platforms have contributed to the development of a strong brand identity.
Furthermore, the tools have given potential customers the opportunity to understand certain product features, which would be difficult to communicate through traditional marketing communication mediums such as print media. Social mediums have also led to the development of a strong perception of inclusion amongst consumers in the firm’s product development processes.
For example, the consumers’ information is increasingly utilized in the process of improving the functionality and appearance of the Jeep brand. Subsequently, the likelihood of the firm developing a strong competitive advantage is greatly improved.
In the course of their operation, businesses do not have control over the market environment, which has become very dynamic over the past few years. The emergence of social media has increased the buyers’ bargaining power. For example, consumers can access information regarding a particular product or service through social media.
Some consumers may post negative comments regarding the firm’s products and services. Millions of consumers may view such comments across the world, hence affecting the reputation and image of the company. Such negative comments may adversely affect the firm’s ability to achieve long-term competitiveness.
Loss of brand reputation and credibility may take a firm a substantial amount of resources [time and money] to restore. In the event of such an occurrence, Jeep may utilize social media platforms in conducting damage control, hence safeguarding its brand image and reputation.
This goal can be achieved by posting comments to counter the negative brand image, which might have been created through social mediums. Subsequently, social media is relevant in the Jeep’s marketing performance by improving the effectiveness and efficiency with which the firm deals with the negative brand image.
Improvement in the firm’s marketing communication process
Integration of social media has led to significant improvement in the firm’s marketing communication process. Using social media has greatly enriched the Jeep’s market promotion strategy. For example, adopting social media has expanded the firm’s integrated marketing communication process.
Subsequently, the firm is in a position to create awareness regarding the quality of its automobile products to a large number of potential and existing consumers. Currently, consumers are utilizing social media in their socialization process, which leads to improved efficiency about marketing through word of mouth.
Strong customer relationship
Social media has also played a remarkable role in improving the level of the customer relationship. The firm extensively uses social media in interacting with consumers, hence understanding the consumers’ perception. Using social media in its marketing processes has led to the establishment of an online community, which is specifically concerned with communicating various issues associated with the Jeep brand.
Subsequently, the firm has been in a position to create market awareness to a large number of consumers globally. Moreover, the firm has been in a position to nurture a high level of customer-to-customer relationship.
This study shows that social media plays a remarkable role in promoting the marketing capability of a particular business entity. Jeep Incorporation has integrated social media in its marketing communication efforts over the past few years.
The firm has integrated diverse social media platforms in creating awareness regarding its Jeep automobile brand. The study has identified the main social media platforms used by the firm. These mediums include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, and Wikis.
These mediums have improved the firm’s marketing efficiency through a number of ways. First, the mediums have enabled consumers to develop a positive perception regarding the firm’s brand. For example, using You, Tube has given Jeep an opportunity to illustrate the efficiency, stability, and performance of its brands. Posting videos on YouTube have enabled Jeep to illustrate the performance of its automobiles in different terrain.
Subsequently, the firm has been improving the consumers’ perception regarding its brands. Furthermore, using social media has greatly enabled the firm to enhance the credibility of its products. Social media has also enhanced played a remarkable role in improving the firm’s performance by enhancing the level of the customer relationship.
Furthermore, integrating social media has enabled the firm to achieve efficiency and effectiveness in its product improvement effort. This assertion arises from the view that the firm can access credible market information from the customers’ feedback, which can be utilized in making product improvement decisions.
Therefore, social media has greatly enhanced the Jeep’s marketing capability. Considering the current market changes, Jeep should undertake the continuous improvement of its marketing capabilities through the emerging social mediums. This move will play a significant role in enhancing its long-term competitiveness.