Monday, May 4, 2009

Car Features for Pet owners - and more niche but well-loved ideas

As proud parents of a Great Dane, there were many times in our dog traveling life that we could have used some serious forethought from car designers. Yes, we had a truck and yes we had a Minivan, and yes we had a Honda Element, but each of those three vehicles offered pet solutions as only an after thought. No restraint for the pet in the case of accident. No easy way to clean for hair and mud. No sure fire cool method when the car is off. No shade to block out passing dogs who choose to start a bark-fest. No water-bowl solution. No Bubble side window or roll down rear for the dog to be able to look forward while driving. No easy-in ramp solution. No way to contain when opening the rear gate or door when the hatch lifts up toward you and the dog sneaks out underneath. No fitted (but removable pillow) that makes sleeping comfortable for the dog on long trips. Basically a lot of missing items.



















The other day I was thinking about hard-hitting Local Motors solution points for under-served customers, and how other companies can only really offer after-market gimmicks whereas we have the ability to deliver an integral solution that specifically addresses targeted needs.

I got on Twitter and asked if there was any such car for dogs (which is only one such niche need) and 4 people responded directly that indeed there was just such a car concept. The Honda Element for dog lovers.

Not necessarily as good a job as LM could achieve, IMHO, but for an OEM, I found this response, convincing. Wish they had had this when we bought our element, I bet our Great Dane wishes so too.



Here's to other concepts that we could execute on strongly and leave Honda realing from the manufacturing complexity of fitting such niches into the mass.

Tennis car
Sailing car
Fishing car
Cranberry Bogger car
Hunting car
Pub Crawling car
...the list goes on. When you love one of these life-pursuits, we bet that we could make offerings that appeal deeply to your love. Check back in the future as we pursue these avenues, and let us know what you might like to see.

<a href="http://answers.polldaddy.com/poll/1594304/">What type of Niche-use would you like your car to serve.</a><span style="font-size:9px;">(<a href="http://www.polldaddy.com">online surveys</a>)