Marketing has a quite long history and telling the story of marketing usually includes the Ford corporation in one way or the other. The very first marketing management philosphy was more than anything else a Ford creation or at least perfected by Mr Henry Ford. His philosophy was to improve production of the early Model T so that costs could be reduced. Thereby the price could be lowered and more people could afford it. However, in the strive for standardization and cost reduction it was deemed unimportant to allow customers to have any influence on what colours the cars would have. The Ford colour issue has become quite well known but it is less known that it was actually Mr Henry Ford himself who joked about that he was offering people a car of any colour as long as it was black.

Considering Ford’s colourful heritage it was quite surprising to observe that they, after almost a hundred years, went back to their original strategy. That is, to sell cars that come in only one colour, no matter the whishes of the customer. You may now wonder if this really has happened and the answer is indeed yes.

It is a few years back when Ford made an extra environmentally friendly effort in launching their ethanol fueled Ford Taurus. Apparently they considered their product so nature friendly that it could only come in one colour – Green – what else?

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Old habits die hard but I guess that even stubborn marketers at Ford ought to realize, after a hundred years, that it is not a successful strategy to deny customers their freedom of choice!
/Patrik

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