Chevy Volt changes messaging, sales go up

The car’s initial storytelling push focused on its technical aspects. That pulled in a die-hard audience, but the more recent approach of letting customers tell their own stories has coincided with a sales boost.

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When the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt was launched in fall 2010, the company was embarking on “a whole new ballgame,” according to Michelle Malcho, communications manager for the Volt.

For the first 12 to 18 months of the car’s existence, Chevy’s communicators stuck to the car’s specifications and capabilities.

“The storytelling was really about technology and technology leadership,” Malcho says. “It needed to be. To be honest, a lot of people still don’t understand what it means to drive electric.”

Once more Volts were out on the roads, however, that story shifted. It wasn’t all about the high-tech stuff under the hood anymore. Over time, it came to be about what it’s like to own a Volt, and how being a Volt owner is kind of like having a membership in a special club.

That approach has coincided to sales boosts as people have come to know the Volt customer experience. Additionally, the Volt’s Facebook community is nearing 200,000 “likes,” and the Voltage community has nearly 1,000 topics in its Volt forum.

The initial approach

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