Don't Let Your Prospect Buy A Grey Car

The global motor trade announce that 80% of new cars are coloured either grey, black, white or silver.

This frightening monochroming has as chief offender; grey. Accounting for just over a quarter (25.7% in the UK alone, apparently) of all sales. Grey is the new black, then.

It seems this trend cements the direction of this century. The best selling colour having shifted unexcitedly between 'grey (2001-09), black (2010-2013), then it was white and now we have gone back to grey'. Despite, it has been noted, no tv car ad currently featuring a grey car.

The reasons revolve around perception of future resale value.

Projections right now suggest a modern second-hand colourful car commands a price 6-8% lower than that of the same but black.

So neutral means being ultra-cautious. Buying something that may lessen your enjoyment of it, in the hope of a later easier offload. Aesthetics set aside for anonymously mingling in.

Yet there is hope for a more vivid world.

EVs are being produced in vast numbers painted blue. Supposedly to tap into consumer associations of that colour with electricity.

The best-selling 2022 Mini was green. Likewise Peugeot's 208 most-bought was yellow.

And of the remaining one of five new cars not of the borings, blue and red come next, with orange overall a surprise seventh place.

There's even talk that fewer bright cars are stolen, as car thieves prefer colours that are less conspicuous.

Our clients are not concerned with re-sale value.

But they may be troubled by being seen to 'blend in' which may have detrimental impact on their bottom line.

Most B2B outfits I've worked with down the years are not their market leader. There's usually a dominant player soaking up territory. Often trying to be all things to all buyers. Yet leaving a crucial niche unaddressed whilst persuading prospects it doesn't really matter or that they do that anyway when they do not.

In my cubrep days, that player in my space was IBM. The old brainwash being 'no-one got sacked for buying Big Blue'. Yet no-one made the gains they should have either. As the decline of the AS400 dominance later proved.

We used many an effective counter-pitch. Most buyers had experience of buying from the Mister Big. Only to be left disregarded, unfulfilled, even bullied.

As the anti-complacency classic car rental strapline of the number two once went; we try harder.

Up against an 800lb gorilla, then you too might argue successfully that you are not the grey paintjob. You offer that vital, uplifting, individualised splash of colour.

Not that I'd advise the slating of a larger opponent. You can though put a desired purchase element which is neglected by the competition, many of them in fact, at the forefront of your pitch.

Here's the sign-off from a piece in London's paywalled broadsheet The Telegraph;

Axalta’s global automotive colour of 2023 is a shade of blue called Techno Blue, which it describes as “a pulsating colour that is right on beat with the rhythm of today’s lively energy”.

Surely you have an offering which uniquely taps into this lively pulse. When you find a prospect who values this above the dull, you've a vibrant match all of your own.

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