Are Your Incentives and Benefits Good Enough for Customers?

I bought a new car a few weeks ago. Anyone who’s done this knows how daunting the car-selecting process can be (never mind the hassle of actually purchasing the car)! There are so many things to consider. What type of car? What type of engine? Front or 4 wheel drive? I could go on for days.

Now, this is the fourth time I’ve bought a car, but this experience was almost one-hundred percent different than any of the other times. Why? For the first time in my purchasing history, the actual car was of a secondary concern.

How could I buy a car and not care about said car first and foremost? It came down to one thing – conveniences. The vehicle I bought (a Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, for you inquiring minds) is so absolutely overrun with little touches of modern amenity bliss that I don’t even care that the engine isn’t quite as smooth or powerful as I like, or that the ride is slightly bumpier than I prefer.

The list of conveniences is staggering for a vehicle in this (fairly low end) price range. Take a look:

  • USB music drive in the arm rest compartment
  • Steering wheel iPod controls
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Light sensing headlights
  • Voice controlled stereo
  • Auto down AND up windows
  • Heated seats
  • Automatic climate control
  • Keyless entry
  • Push start engine

Sure, nowadays a lot of cars will have all of these features, but the best part in this case is that these are all available AT NO EXTRA CHARGE. The base model of the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is reasonably priced and has all of these I mentioned. Not to mention a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, great gas mileage, and 0% interest. I try to be a smart consumer and be really careful when I make large purchases, but I couldn’t even give myself a reason not to buy this car.

This just goes to show you – little things matter. There is absolutely no way I would have dropped thousands of dollars on a car if it didn’t have all this. It may not be built like a spectacular performance vehicle, but all these little touches add up to something that just makes it a better choice than a no-frills car of the same value.

Obviously this concept extends far outside the automotive industry. If businesses can just give their consumers those little “something extras,” then it can push a purchase decision in their favor. After all, who doesn’t like luxury without feeling like you’re paying for luxury?

Can you think of any other examples of extraordinary incentives and benefits?


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  1. Jill Tooley

    I don’t even need a new car and I’m impressed by this model. What I wouldn’t give to have iPod controls on my steering wheel or heated seats…sigh.

    That’s an amazing list of extras! I knew that manufacturers were starting to offer “luxury” perks in their base models, but until now I haven’t actually seen one that’s all that affordable. It probably doesn’t cost much for them to throw in these incentives and they’re boosting the appeal of their products by doing so. You’d easily spend an extra grand if you were to add all of these features to a competing car!

    I need to start shopping with you – I have a feeling I’d save boatloads of money! 😉

    • JPorretto

      My friends often tell me they’re looking for “J.Po Deals” when they are shopping. So I think you may be on to something.

  2. LK

    After finding out I spend about 3 weeks a year in my car (just driving to and from work) I should really get a car with all these sweet features.
    Thanks for these great blog post Jeff, now I want to go out and buy a new car.

    On the topic of perks and incentives though- I shop online at Victorias Secret, often, and a lot of times I won’t buy anything if they don’t have a Free Shipping special, a $15 off a $100 purchase, or an offer to receive a “Secret Rewards” card. These incentives definitely persuade me to make purchases, so I would have to agree that worthwhile incentives make a big difference to consumers!

    • LK

      Thanks for THIS great blog post* not these…

      • JPorretto

        You would definitely get your money’s worth out of whatever car you bought. But I would still keep yours till it dies and goes to that big parking lot in the sky. New cars are fun till that bill comes in the mail…

    • Michelle

      Oh Lauren. You would mention Victoria’s Secret incentives. This is NOT a good sign. However, being a fellow Victoria’s Secret shopoholic, I too would agree that their incentives make me want to shop even when I’m not looking. Who are we kidding, we’re always looking…

  3. Joseph Giorgi

    I guarantee that when it’s time for me to enter the modern car market, I’ll be looking for the same little incentives you’ve listed here before I make my purchase. A USB music drive would be amazingly convenient, and I’d sell my soul for heated seats in the wintertime (seriously, I hate winter).

    • JPorretto

      I was amazed at just how much cool tech stuff was out there since the last time we bought a car. I’m sure when it’s time for you to get a new car, it’ll blow mine away!

      • Joseph Giorgi

        Hah. I can only hope. 😉

  4. Bret Bonnet

    That’s a crazy list of COOL features to be included in a car’s STOCK configuration at that price point.

    It’s frustrating – it seems like the average car manufacturer (Toyota, Chevy, Ford, etc.) are starting to include TONS of luxury features in their cars by default while the likes of BMW and/or Mercedes are removing them from their cars and FORCING would be car buyers to pay extra for them.

    I recently purchased a new BMW and I made the mistake of thinking that key less entry and push button start would be included standard. I guessed wrong. I even bought the car and had to return it over this (thank goodness the dealership was flexible). You’ve got to purchase the $2500 “convenience package” if you don’t want to wield your key each and every time you get in/out of your car.

    I want a BMW quality car with all the Ford “extras” (and the Ford price tag wouldn’t be bad either).

    We could call the company “Bord”; it would be rad and madly successful.

    • JPorretto

      I’d buy a Bord! But meh, I might get tired of it =]

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