an increasing animalistic association with cars. They are more ' beings' than machines. Vehicle faces are becoming more expressive as lamp graphics become more adventurous. Grille design and its association with mouth and nose are being exploited more, and the stance and posture of body design is showing more and more animalistic qualities. This increased expression is a trend within the automotive industry that is really helping to increase the visual impact of vehicle design and people's passionate relationship with the car. But the reaction or perception of vehicle design is subjective and can be affected by other factors, one of the strongest elements being brand image. Personal attitude to different brands, whether rational or irrational, has a direct effect on people's evaluation of the vehicle and its design. Getting past this prejudice and achieving an objective evaluation of a design is one of the strengths of Car Men's research methods. Try getting a Mercedes owner to evaluate an Audi design and you'll understand the problem. " Personal attitude to some brands, whether rational or irrational has a direct effect on people's evaluation of a vehicle and its design"
One interesting side effect of allegiance is that very strong brands are more than capable of supporting a weak design for a short time, whereas weak brands need to work much harder to create an attractive design message and improve market acceptance. Car Men's ' Design Lounge' events analyse the passionate feedback the company gets from the customers - positive or negative - and bring some surprising new attitudes to light. Using collage techniques and association tests, Car Men can now get closer to understanding what makes customers tick; what they love or hate, and how a brand they don't know could win their hearts. An important back- up for research activities is Car Men's design research database Car menu. There are over 100,000 high- quality images that Car Men uses in focus groups and clinic exercises to support research, and deepen the understanding of the customer perception. The good news is the feedback Car Men gets from the market shows that the awareness and interest in good design is increasing. Cars such as the BMW MINI and the Fiat 500 are changing the consumers' attitude to cars in all segments and this should be seen as encouragement for a more adventurous design and marketing strategy by all manufacturers. The freedom to design your own vehicle and satisfy your need for a more personal product is just another sign of people's passionate relationship with the car. THE VEHICLE REVIEW more information? click here! " There are over 100,000 high- quality images that Car Men uses in focus groups and clinic exercises to support research"