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Toyota Prius is the Facebook app of the auto industry July 4, 2007

Posted by jeremyliew in facebook, self espression, social media, social networks, widgets.

The NY Times runs a front page article today about the Toyota Prius the hybrid that makes a statement and that sells. The article says:

A riddle: Why has the Toyota Prius enjoyed such success, with sales of more than 400,000 in the United States, when most other hybrid models struggle to find buyers?

One answer may be that buyers of the Prius want everyone to know they are driving a hybrid.

The article quotes a poll that says that 57% of Prius owners cited as their top reason for buying a Prius that “it makes a statement about me”. (Disclaimer: I drive a Prius too).

This behavior is no different than why users of social networks “pimp out” their profile pages with widgets from companies like Rockyou (a Lightspeed company) and Slide. Self expression is a basic human behavior, whether its instantiated in the car you drive, the rubber wrist band you wear, the sticker you put on your bumper, the IM buddy icon you choose or the widgets you put on your social network profile. It sends a message to the rest of the world about what is important to you.

The Toyota Prius is the facebook app of the auto industry.

I would love to hear other examples of online and offline self expression from readers.


1. David - July 4, 2007

The blog software you use! Blogger = I’m lazy and it’s easy to use whatever Google gives me. WordPress = I’m willing to work a little extra for a better blog.

Full disclosure – my blog uses Blogger.

2. Radio's Marketing Mistake : You Might be Crazy… - July 5, 2007

[…] something about both the station and the listener.  The Prius is a memorable name which people can identify with.  Prius means hybrid; it says “I’m doing my part, how about you?”. How many […]

3. Jackson Fish Market - July 6, 2007

[…] “57% of Prius owners cited as their top reason for buying a Prius that ‘it makes a state… Posted on July 5th, 2007 in Interesting […]

4. Jason - July 6, 2007

I do not own “Crocs” shoes, but every three year-old child (in our parents/kids play group) has a tiny pair of Crocs in their closet.

Parents can express their child’s interests (interpret as you wish) in the form of Jibbitz – http:// http://www.jibbitz.com. Jibbitz was acquired by Crocs in 2006 for ~$10 million USD.

Not only do kids love choosing small plastic bugs, shapes and icons for their shoes, but the parents are now embellishing their own Crocs with sport team icons, etc.

For the record, my Boomer Dad owns four pairs of Crocs – replacing his collection of Top Sider boat shoes. 😉

5. rooffire - July 8, 2007

Money clips vs. wallets

Clips – I don’t need to carry Safeway Club cards, old movie ticket stubs, and condoms all in one vessel.

Wallets – I need to do the above.

6. Zaiaku - July 8, 2007

I would have to agree with rooffire on that. LOL

7. Zaiaku - July 8, 2007

Actually let me go bacc and add. With everyone cluttering up there profiles with about 10 roccyou slideslows is outrageous. I can’t really beilieve why so many people would do that. Keep it nice and clean, don’t mind fancy but damn.

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