Popping the Question.

When the financial crisis hit in 2008 and sales plummeted, most auto companies rolled out discounts and cash incentives, to little effect. Hyundai asked customers why they weren’t buying, and heard the same answer over and over: fear. People were afraid to buy cars for fear they might lose their jobs and damage their credit ratings. That was the spark behind Hyundai Assurance, which guaranteed that buyers could return their cars if they lost their jobs within the first year of ownership. In the first month, Hyundai sales doubled, while all others continued their freefall. Two lessons, then. First, find the problem and make the solution your marketing pitch. Second, copy what works. Incredibly, no other automaker followed Hyundai’s lead, even though they could all see the results. As a result, a lot of new Hyundai owners were created — folks who probably continue to buy the company’s vehicles today.