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Score Zero – The ConsumHERist

Posted on | March 12, 2009 | No Comments

by Delia Passi

Experian Automotive, part of global information services company Experian, and Aspen Marketing, the largest privately-held marketing services agency in the country, recently announced a joint marketing program to drive traffic to auto dealers’ used car lots.  The program is named “Score a Great Car.”

Score has a lot of meanings as a verb, as well as a lot as a noun.  According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, there are about a dozen verb meanings.  Some have to do with generating points in a competition, but it can also relate to marking an object, grading a student’s work or writing out a musical composition.

The use that Experian and Aspen probably intended to apply is one that Merriam-Webster defines as success in achieving, attaining or acquiring.  They give two examples. One is in regard to obtaining illicit drugs, and the other is to succeed in having sexual intercourse.  I believe Experian and Aspen mean to mimic the former, even though that connection is not an entirely complimentary one.

Despite what they intend, many women won’t initially make the same connection, but will more likely think of the latter usage.  As many women interpret the term to be related to sexual conquest by men, the immediate reaction, at least for me and probably for many if not most women, is a negative one.

It’s not always enough to have good intentions, if you can call the connection to illicit drugs a good thing, but sometimes unintentional meanings can affect the end result.  In this case, Experian and Aspen, probably more the latter, are guilty of not giving more thought to the reaction of women consumers to the subtle but unintended interpretation of the word score.  Maybe they just think that men buy more cars than women, which is far from true.

Delia Passi, Founder of WomenCertified® and author of Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women is a regular columnist on ReachingWomenDaily.  Delia can be reached at delia@medelia.com.

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