Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Have car companies really learnt anything from Toyota?

Last week I blogged about how Toyota had launched their social media listening site called Throughout the social media world this was seen as a positive move to claw back the reputation of a leading global automotive manufacturer.

However today I was prompted to do a little investigation after following the Twitter stream of Neville Hobson who was attending and speaking at the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association 'New Influencers Workshop':
Brilliant suggestion by @thomaspower to auto co's: aggregate all conversations
on a convo domain, eg, #mipaa

Yes, this is a brilliant suggestion and one that I would have been surprised had not been already adopted by other motor manufacturers or their PR agents. At the very least this sort of activity should be in planning, given that it took Toyota and Tweetmeme only a few days to put the Toyota Conversations site up.

So I took a quick look at the [company] domains available in that industry. I therefore found that the following domains were available to be purchased (e.g. they have not already been bought, a good indication of what they have planned):
    (agreeably Vauxhall is a UK-only GM brand)
    (so that scratches that thought)
I could have checked more...and maybe I will after this post.

Now I could forgive all these, as this was a Toyota-specific issue that they have dealt with via the social web. But you'll be even more surprised to know that this domain is also still available:

For those that are not aware, Lexus is the prestige brand of Toyota. It would seem that even the parent company hasn't reserved this domain yet for its own PR purposes. Are they really that sure they won't need it in the future, given what has happened to their main brand?

I take no responsibility for these domains being taken by domain squatters or brandjackers following this post. All domains mentioned are available as of 15:45 on 31 March 2010.