Do Honda Drivers Dream Of Innovation?

Recently, Honda debuted a powerful new “Power of Dreams” ad, the stated purpose of which is to portray Honda as “not just your run-of-the mill car manufacturer. “This is a really terrific, innovative high technology company that produces terrific premium products,” according to Tom Peyton, assistant VP of marketing for American Honda Motor Co.

Every car manufacturer no doubt wants car buyers to perceive them as an innovative manufacturer. In the case of Honda, however, the question begs: do Honda drivers value innovation? Is Honda’s ad campaign likely to correspond to their values and purchase drivers?

To answer this question, we reviewed Resonate data on those 23.5 million U.S. adults who intend to purchase a Honda within the next year. When we examined the importance to this group of Innovation as an automobile product attribute, we found that Honda intenders actually under-index on the importance of this attribute.

Here’s how auto product attributes stack up in importance to Honda drivers:

Honda Drivers Product Attributes

By uncovering these purchase drivers, we learn that Honda intenders aren’t motivated to buy because they believe Honda is an innovative brand. Instead, they’re looking for practical, family friendly transportation—and they believe Honda delivers it.

What about consumers who do value innovation in automobiles—where does Honda stack up with this audience? When we looked at the 17.3 million U.S. adults who seek innovation in their auto purchases, here’s what we found:

Honda Drivers Next Auto

Of those consumers who value innovation in auto brands, Honda is not high in their consideration set. Audi comes out on top.

Given these insights, how effective might we expect Honda’s “Power of Dreams” campaign to be?  If Honda’s goal is to pursue those 17.3 million consumers who value innovation in their automobile purchases, then the ad is well positioned to change their perceptions. Honda would do well, however, not to lose sight of the 23 million consumers who intend to purchase a Honda for its practical, family friendly attributes. From this audience, the carmaker might find themselves able to convert more intenders into buyers.