Earning a reputation may come from being a new upstart or could be as a seasoned company. Consider the 1970s in the automotive industry. Foreign automakers were making a big push into the American marketplace. Although most would say it was because of the fuel efficiency, a good argument can be made that it was more about alternative to Detroit's big three. Baby Boomers will remember Detroit was turning out big cars at a time many consumers wanted fuel efficiency. It was a time of long lines at gas pumps as auto buyers dealt with gasoline prices that were exceeding forty cents per gallon for the first time.
Detroit was running into trouble with the media and one of America’s proudest industries found itself out of favor with press and inexperienced at how to deal with it. For the importers new products often win quick favor with consumers -- particularly because they were receiving favorable media attention. But Detroit was stubborn in thinking the age of the muscle car was not over. A few small cars were being turned out but they in large were stripped down versions of bigger cars. The Ford Pinto, AMC Gremlin, and Chevy Vega had decent introductions but did not receive the same press as the Datsun, Toyota and Subaru models in the same size range.
The imported automobiles definitely caught the consumer's eyes and sales grew quickly. The thought process of experts was that people bought the vehicles simply because the fuel efficiency had enough evidence to stick.
In today's automotive marketplace the new products are the hybrid models. With high gas prices one would expect these fuel efficient vehicles to catch on the same way the imports exploded in popularity. However they haven't. The corporate image from the 1970s had not yet been shaken.
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Additional Diversity Resources
- Culture Bridges are a look at the contents of the character within each of us. Information is contained on more than 20 different categories of culture.
- Cultural Faux Pas is an interesting quiz about marketing mistakes made by others.
- Culture Quizzes allow you to test your cultural IQ with fun and informative quizzes.
Diversity by the numbers
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time
- 35 Dumb Things Well-Intended People Say: Surprising Things We Say That Widen the Diversity Gap.
- 50 Activities for Promoting Communication and Understanding at Work: The Diversity Training Activity Book
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