Sonata vs Camry – Market Intelligence


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Until last year’s publicity crisis, Toyota enjoyed one of the most formidable brand reputations in the automotive market. Hyundai, on the other hand, used to dwell on the bottom of the brands totem poll. Their respective sales numbers and price deferential have reflected the perception of value in their customer’s mind. The Times They Are a-Changin’ and here is an example of how customers describe their experience with their cars today. We focused on content generated by 386 customers who experienced 2011 Camry and 2011 Sonata, and shared their experiences with other consumers online. Below is Market (segment) Intelligence Analysis dashboard snapshot. The actual dashboard is interactive and provides the access to verbatim for contextual interpretation.

This is not a complete list of Customer Experience Attributes the Opinion Miner has discovered, but we selected the ones that have the most importance to their customers. The complete list is available on request. The bars indicate a difference between customer’s expectations and their experience with a specific Attribute, while the green line across the bars shows the Importance of these Attributes to the customers.

Our methodology does not utilize surveys, focus groups, panels or other forms of leading questions/bias forming market research tools.

Two findings are worth pointing out:

  • Camry’s customers disappointment with their Customer Care experience is very surprising and troublesome. It may be worth measuring this Attribute across Toyota vehicles line-up to get a better assessment whether this is a data spike or beginning of a trend threatening the Toyota brand value.
  • Road Noise and Transmission experiences have disappointed the customers of both contenders, however Sonata seems to provide more tolerable experience than Camry. In both cases the Transmission issues are illustrated in verbatim as

“Truly terrible [transmission] (violent shifts and indecision concerning gear choice.)”

“the transmission sucks! When ever the car shifts gears it always knocks and there is a ways a jerk while driving. It best to slap the gear shift in the manual mode and shift your own gears”

A deeper look into verbatim describing the Attributes can provide valuable hints into language that resonates with consumers of this market segment, and opportunities for targeted communication messages that clearly differentiate your product from it’s competitors.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Gregory Yankelovich
Gregory Yankelovich is a Technologist who is agnostic to technology, but "religious" about Customer Experience and ROI. He has solid experience delivering high ROI projects with a focus on both Profitability AND Customer Experience improvements, as one without another does not support long-term business growth. Gregory currently serves as co-founder of, the software (SaaS) used by traditional retailers and CPG brand builders to create Customer Experiences that raise traffic in stores and boost sales per customer visit.


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