During such time of escalating fuel price, not only consumers are feeling the pinch, gas stations are competing with each other as well to attract customers. In U.S. where the fuel prices does not enjoy subsidy and fluctuates on daily basis, one has to be creative to lock-in customers. A gas station on Columbia’s North Main Street apparently has come out with a brilliant idea. – renamed and redecorated the station after President Obama.
Sam Alhanik, who owned the station barely two months ago got the idea from his friend who created an Obama Gas Station in Michigan. Alhanik, born in Yemen, is a strong supporter of America’s president – Barack Obama. He said he like President Obama because he’s the first president of black people and his business has turn for the better, ever since the changing of name. Still, competition is stiff and the moment the gas station across the street lower its price, Alhanik immediately lowers it almost instantly.
The marketing plan of renaming the station after the president seems to work very well judging by the number of customers flocking to Alhanik’s station as some of them admit the reason why they chose the station was because of the branding. It make them feel like they’re supporting the president by refilling the gas at the station. Alhanik has actually spent $4,000 to change the name and the look. Now, if only President Obama can claim royalties from using his name to boost business.
Maybe the same marketing can be applied elsewhere such as in Malaysia. Recently Malaysian prime minister urges the people should forego the fuel subsidies because it was like opium. Interestingly it was the same government who has been feeding the people opium over the past decades. If the people who are enjoying fuel subsidy now is like drug addicts who have been taking the opium then the government is the big time drug dealer supplying the opium.
While it was easy to blame the people for depending too much on the “opium” oil subsidy, PM Najib conveniently forgets that corruption, of which he did literally nothing to stop it, is actually the real opium. Now, the artificial method of making consumer products look cheap by way of fuel subsidy is haunting the same government, so much so that Najib administration is having sleepless nights figuring whether to hike the fuel prices or not.
Since Najib has been screaming for months that the people believe and embrace his 1Malaysia slogan, maybe he can rename and redecorate petrol stations after his leadership and 1Malaysia. If the people really support him, maybe they could swallow the bitter pill of higher fuel price and happily pump their petrol when they notice the new look (*grin*). What a better way to raise fuel prices and get away with it than this excellent idea?
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