Pickup truck buyers are incredibly demanding. A new truck might be used for recreation, commercial work or both. Full-size truck manufacturers are constantly challenged to develop trucks with the features, capabilities and configurations required to stay competitive and relevant.
What’s the secret to success? It’s knowing the customers and their needs – in some cases, all the way down to the clothes they wear.
In developing the new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, Chrysler invested more time than ever before learning about the customers that buy these trucks, according to Mark Heber, head of Ram brand truck marketing.
“We did a ton of research,” Heber said. “We’ve done more research on this vehicle than anything else. Our engineers went out and they got dirty with these guys: shoulder-to-shoulder, elbow-to-elbow. We did focus groups. We did one-on-ones. We’ve done more research on this truck than you can imagine.”
So, who is the typical Ram Heavy Duty buyer? Heber recites the following like a successful farmer who knows his flock:
- Average height: 5-foot-11
- Average weight: 203-pounds
- They’re big breakfast eaters. Not Starbucks, but eggs, pancakes and sausage and, particularly, bacon. They eat lots of bacon.
- 2/3 own dogs. Of those, 50% own two or more
- 50% own a trailer
- 80% wear jeans on a daily basis
- They’re big radio listeners
- 97% of buyers who use their truck for work also use it for play
Heber calls buyers who use their trucks for both vocational and recreational activities “super users.” These Ram owners also have two trailers, one for work and another for play.
With such diverse and demanding customer needs, though, Heber is clear about one thing that Ram HD buyers don’t do.
“Ram Heavy Duty buyers don’t watch ‘Sex and the City’.”