Mountains And Dales, Oh, My Quickening Heart

Industrial designers often personify their target market customers as personas. Meet Antonella again.

2017 Ford Fiesta: Ford UK

As we know, the Ford Fiesta’s archetypal customer is “Antonella”. According to Ford she’s left home now and wants her Fiesta plusher, pricier and something else beginning with p. The question is should Ford

not remember the customers who still want what Antonella wanted last time around? It’s all very well giving some tangible identity to market research statistics but in so doing they risk neglecting the non-Antonellas who still want a reliable, inexpensive car. Every new generation of car is bigger and costlier, meaning the models creep up the size scale, leaving less room for the biggest cars. The Mondeo is now huge and the Focus as big as a Mk1 Mondeo hatch. The Scorpio is long gone and the Galaxy isn’t quite the same thing (though Renault’s Espace is now a kind of Safrane substitute).

2017 Renault Espace

I don’t believe Antonella wants a fancier Fiesta. She’s a candidate for the Mini or a Juke. Ford would be better off saying goodbye to the idea of selling Antonella another, ritzier Fiesta and instead sell her a Focus or something Jukey.

Do our dear readers imagine they fit into a prototype like Antonella’s? Write and let us know.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

15 thoughts on “Mountains And Dales, Oh, My Quickening Heart”

  1. I have nothing constructive to add here beyond that the person charged with administering Lancia’s last rites is none less than one Antonella Bruno. According to this ANE profile, her first car was a Y10, and she is now de facto responsible for the Y. Interestingly, it seems her previous role was at Ford:

    Coincidence? Surely not. Self-evidently, the current Fiesta is this generation’s Y10. A Fiesta FILA is surely only a matter of time.

  2. Funnily, when Ford invented “Antonella” she must have been 26: first job and still living a home. In human years “Antonella”hasn’t aged a bit. She’s still a cipher for women aged 23-29, early career, single. The actual “Antonella” of 2008ish are now 28-37 and a lot have a partner and kids. That’s Focus territory. I think Ford have remodelled the Fiesta and remodelled “Antonella” to fit. Better to have simply given the persona a new name.
    Another persona worth remembering is the non-customer. What happens if you don’t address their demands? Sometimes you can’t. Sometimes they reveal an inadequacy with the product.

  3. I expect Antonella does get a Mini.
    But her younger sis, Antonia, gets a Fiat 500, Clio, C3, 208, Corsa, Polo or the appropriate Suzuki/Skoda/Seat. Only Ka comes within her view from Ford.
    She might get a hybrid — if the state rebates are high enough to bring the price down to her level. Or if the Bank of Mum and Dad can help her out, knowing her fuel costs will be less.

    She apparently doesn’t exist in the US, about which this is interesting:

    But as the global giants now sell complicated finance deals with a crate of metal-and-polymers attached, who knows?

    1. I left out i10/20 and Dacia — but few of us would enjoy writing about the latter.

      On the finance/resale/residuals scam you have another excellent thread too.

  4. This idea of identifying a very specific customer type has always seemed weird to me, especially for a mass market product such as the Fiesta. I mean, all sorts of people buy these, don’t they?

    The ‘new’ Fiesta is like Golf 6 – a very thorough update of the existing model.

  5. Just imagine Fiat having brought the Ecobasic to market in a slightly less wilfully odd fashion (think of a bit of Skoda Roomster and Panda 3 added here and there), with solid build quality. The small car market may just have developed in a slightly different direction.

  6. is there a prototype/stereotype for people who want to be old-money aristocratic chaps? if so, that’s me and I want a new Lancia Flaminia, a bottle of white Burgundy and a Swiss Italian girlfriend.

    as for Antonella, if the Volvo C30 (developed under the very Ford that wants to sell her a Fiesta now) had a second generation, maybe it would fit her. a Mini or a Juke are definitely the top picks for her, but the Juke’s French sibling (Renault Captur) or a Peugeot 208 would fit her too.

    1. Let’s develop that idea:
      “The new Wolseley Six is a stylish, safe and above all, secure car – with a powerful 1.5 litre three-cylinder turbo and all-round disc brakes. It has room for five and a practical raised ride height too.
      The idea customer is Alex. He’s a 37 year old man with two kids who really wants to be Massimo, a single man in his 20s who earns a lot of money. The new Wolseley Six is more refined, more mature and more premium so Alex’s previous wish to be a 22/24 year old couple (one of whom is a pilot and the other a child-care worker) living in Marseille has evolved. The Alex persona has greater depths because while Alex is now 37 and married he is also still very much in touch with his inner 26 year old self who travelled a lot and who worked as a ski-instructor. To that end the Six has ABS brakes, full BlueRay connectivity and a class-leading map pocket (optional) and puts the driver forefront but also has space for child-seats, skis and shopping.”

    2. lol, great job!

      I wonder where does the Six nameplate came from, since there’s no inline 6 under the bonnet. Maybe because it you can choose six background colours for the multimedia and the instrument binnacle.

      I’d throw some rubbish stuff about the active lifestyle of Alex, as it was considered when designing the C-pillar of our SCAT (sport coupe active tourer).

      All DTW readers are welcome to meet the new Six (BMW pun intended) at their Wolseley dealerships! Test drives are available, as long as all your personas don’t weigh more than the total payload of the car!

    3. “The Six name recalls earlier Wolseley nameplates such as 16/24, the 18/26 and 36/56 all of which had a “6” in their configuration. Six is also the percentage increase in emotional harmony synergised by the exciting but sensuous new styling.”

  7. Does this mean I require a sex change (voluntary or enforced)? By nature Fords are cars for every person; typecasting Fiesta buyers is a fool’s errand, and another instance where the marketing (or marketers) misrepresent the product.

    1. Absolutely or at the very least a trip to Victoria’s Secret and Vera Moda for some new clothes. The Fiesta is, it’s official, a car for a young Italian woman. Have you an Italian passport?

    2. From now on I want you all to call me Christina. It’s my right as a man…

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