Branding: How will Ford talk about its new “aluminum” feature

frdOK. So a Ford F-150 is a far cry from handmade jewelry.

But stay with me for just a second on this one.

Ford has announced that its new F-150 truck will incorporate “aluminum” instead of steel on the side panels of its trucks.

Now I would invite you to think about the target customer for the F-150 (hint: males who like powerful machines), and the risk that Ford is taking by making this switch.

To that target audience, the word “steel” evokes strong emotions of toughness, strength, and longevity.

Does the word “aluminum” evoke those same emotions?

In a work, “NO.”

Now, it’s very possible that the new aluminum panels are actually stronger than steel.

http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/02/28/fords-radical-new-f-150-how-will-buyers-respond.aspx

This is a real possibility as it says in the article:

“Ford worked with Alcoa to develop a special high-strength aluminum alloy similar to what the U.S. military uses in its armored vehicles, and then put its new trucks through tough real-world testing before revealing them to the world.”

Yes, that’s corporate speak, but notice that Ford is already aware of the danger of angering fans of its trucks so to counteract that they attempt to make a tie-in with the U.S. military and its armored vehicles.

The point I want to make here is that even in your jewelry making you must be very aware of the “value impact” of the words you use when describing your designs.

Here’s something to think about. Which word invokes a more powerful emotional response that impacts perceived value of a jewelry piece: bead or crystal?

How about sterling silver versus metal?

Or maybe gems versus stones?

I haven’t seen any of Ford’s advertising for this new F-150 model yet, but I would be a lot of money that the word “aluminum” will not be used in any of the advertising.

Instead, I predict they will invent a new word for the aluminum alloy they are using, a word that sounds tough, and work relentlessly to show that it is stronger than actual steel.

What words can you use instead of “beaded” necklace, for example, to enhance the perceived value of your designs?

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