EV Battery Subscriptions, Fresh Flower Psychology, Dam History

July 7, 2022
Today we cover a new EV entrant with a very creative way to solve the financing problem. We also talk about the psychological impact of fresh cut flowers and why it matters for your showroom. Finally, we take a look at a few lessons to be learned from this day in history way back in 1930.
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New EV maker VinFast to begin selling vehicles with a separate battery lease

  • Offering 2 row VF 8, and 3 Row VF 9 with leases that separate the vehicle lease from the battery lease
  • Prices start at $40,700 and $55,500 for the respective 8 and 9 models with the monthly battery ‘subscription’ as an additional cost
  • $35 for the VF 8 and $44 for the VF 9 for 310 miles
  • Additional miles are .11 and .15 respectively
  • Unlimited miles costs $110 and $160
  • Take away: ‘conventional’ thinking has officially been beaten and left for dead

The reason you see flowers at the front of the grocery store is very intentional

  • According to, Paco Underhill, the founder and CEO of behavioral research and consulting firm Envirosell, “It’s very simple.  If you can get someone's nose and saliva glands working, they become a much less disciplined shopper.”
  • Other subliminal messaging includes the ability to keep things fresh
  • Also very high margin items…close to 50%
  • Take Away: What can you do to set the tone for your showroom and service entrance

Today in History, July 7th, 1930 construction on the Hoover Dam began

  • Planning began almost 30 years earlier in 1902
  • 21,000 men worked around the clock for five years and finished two years ahead of schedule and millions of dollars under budget
  • Provides power to over 1 million people and reliable water to many more
  • Take Away: Every horizon has a ‘now’


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:24

If you've ever been to an auto conference, this is the one to start at. If you're sick of auto conferences in general, or you just need something a little different, a solo con is the place to be September 11. Through 13th. We only have a limited number of tickets, and most of our events have sold out. So exactly, we're just saying,

Kyle Mountsier  00:40

we're really excited. And we just hope that you'll join us because we want to craft something that is for the whole industry, not just for

Paul Daly  00:47

associate photos. So to conduct calm getting tickets now. Kyle, but I think we were wearing the same things in that video. Tickets are officially launched today we're going to talk about that talking about evey battery subscriptions and why fresh flowers work. People rely on fresh hours work.

Kyle Mountsier  01:11

I saw that I can't wait to get to that article because I saw that and I was like, okay, okay, this is something I can we can we can pull this down to auto real quick. So we'll get to the fresh flowers.

Paul Daly  01:23

Isaac put that banner back up on the screen? Well, yeah, the soda con banner. So we pre registered, we had a pre registration list for a soda con tickets that you know, maybe you know you're on it, that registration list had access, oh, that just cycles on and off really quick. It doesn't stay up there does it? So the pre registration, they were able to buy tickets on Tuesday. And then we just kind of stuck it out to our email list yet or this morning. And now everybody on the podcast world knows tickets are officially open. And the next step is we're actually going to talk about it on social media. So we wanted to give the OG community first dibs at the tickets as of what was it as of 6am. This morning, we have 600 tickets, there are 453 there's actually less than that, because I saw a couple orders come through.

Kyle Mountsier  02:12

Yeah, definitely less than that. So yeah, we yeah, get get in line quick, because we just announced them. And we, between collaborators and speakers and the people that like bought them between two Tuesday and today, they are flying off the shelf. And we know that it's going to be a high energy event for

Paul Daly  02:31

sure. And you know, what's got me feeling really special is that people trust that it's going to be an amazing event, obviously, you know, you're gonna get the energy, right? If you haven't, like, we just bring the energy every day as best we can, and you're gonna have a great venue, and all the meals are included, which is great. And the hotel block is very affordable. And it's an amazing hotel. So like, that's the stuff that people know, but we haven't announced a single speaker.

Kyle Mountsier  02:56

I know, that's really wild. And we have I mean, I think people know by this point, right? That like the very first live stream ever first. So do was Reichert drops on camera, first thing, right? So it's great. To Right, yeah, we're not going backwards on any of that, we're just gonna keep pressing into it, we're talking yesterday, we're actually working through some of the content and just the way the panels and things are going to be structured. And we've got, you know, probably 90% of everything locked down from speakers, everything, and we're really trying to do a good job of, hey, you're gonna see a lot of the people that you've seen in the asoto arena. So to say, for a long time, you know, you're going to see some some new people to a soda that you might have seen in other places across the industry, and Ida, digital dealer dmsc, places like that, that are really crafting a new conversation. But then we're really working on a subset that is also part of the conversation that you may have never seen on a stage before, they may have never met the industry partner that you may have never met the dealer. And we want to bring that kind of freshness, newness, and then we're going outside of the industry to so as we start to announce speakers, you're going to see some of the people that are outside of the industry or, or, you know, thought leaders that that are pushing the boundaries of retail or culture or experience in a way that that we're just trying to bring more of those thoughts into the automotive industry and kind of like bridge the gap between all of

Paul Daly  04:26

retail. And one of the cool things about how a soda has kind of evolved over the last two years is, you know, we talked about a soda as not being a media company, but as being more like a record label, right? And that's our vision. And our goal for it is to like just grab all the best bands and the obscure artists and like put them together and like show our community like these people are freaking awesome. And then it's been fun to watch over the years people that have actually kind of broken the ice in their public appearance or social media, you know, exploits through a soda and Now I see them everywhere. I've seen on every news network people are reaching out, they're like, people have responded like yo, I was on a soda and then like calls and emails just started coming in. And so I think we're bringing some of that freshness to this event, I think there are going to be people that are at our a soda con, that all of a sudden are going to become Senator points in the conversation in auto. So we're going to be announcing speakers very soon. And we're going to be announcing some amazing collaborators that we have, we got rid of the word sponsors a long time ago, because anyone who wants to be part of a soda con on a sponsorship level, we're like, there's a requirement on you, as well, to actually collaborate in the event to bring the community together to think of how you can connect the dots and serve the broader automotive community. And so, like, I'm also super excited to bring that mentality to an automotive event. And so yeah, it's September 11. Through 13th in Philly, get tickets, there's still tickets left for dealers and industry partners, the industry partner tickets are gonna go super quick, because we only have a very small allocation for those. And it's an all inclusive event, all the meals are included. We have evening entertainment included we haven't talked a ton about but we're converting in space over from conference mode to entertainment mode. And literally, we're gonna have a silent disco. Look it up. We're gonna have live karaoke, we're gonna have live DJs. And we're bringing in like Nashville's hottest band to play an outdoor event, where we're going to invite everyone from the industry, I mean, everyone that wants to drive to this event, if you work at the dealership, if you're a lot attendant, if you change the trash, if you're a BDC rep, you can actually come to the event for free. And we're just going to, we're going to teach you how amazing retail Auto is not just your store, but all the stores. So we help you go to a soda con.com Buy tickets, sign up for updates, because we're about to start going to slew of announcements of speakers and collaborators and all the good things that are happening. We're almost at that 60 day mark, almost. I'm already feeling like I use that anxious energy about it. I'm already feeling anxious that I got the microphone Twitch like my hand with the mic and it gets twitchy. Here we go, here we go. flipping it around. I just I just pictured myself as like Eminem with the hood over dunk, dunk, dunk, dunk.

Kyle Mountsier  07:12

That might be a walk up song or something.

Paul Daly  07:15

We got to do it, we got to do it. Alright, let's talk about some news.

Kyle Mountsier  07:19

Well, Paul, can we can we just say because if you listen, if you're a regular listen to the pod or watching on the live stream, just having Steve Greenfield on yesterday and some of the thoughts and the conversation that he was able to draw out. If you haven't caught that episode, make sure you go back and listen or catch it, we were dropping some of like his quick thoughts on LinkedIn and Instagram, you're gonna want to catch some of that stuff. Because it really is a he's got a really clear picture. And he does a very, very good job at being studious about the way the industry is right now. And the way the industry is headed. And just drawing straight lines for both dealers and industry partners on just all the players and what the markets doing and how market forces are impacting real time data. And, man, just that guy, I'm telling what about the rest on LinkedIn? It was it was the rest of my day I had, I had four phone conversations, because of the conversation with Steve that I was like, I gotta call this person, right talk to what I talked about with Steve, is that,

Paul Daly  08:24

no, and that's the real value I think of you know, when you think of the word thought partners, right? I'll think of myself as a thought partner with Steve. But really, he contributes most of the thought. I just sit here and nod my head yet. That's great. That's great. That's great to know. But for real when you expose yourself to like a broader level of thinking, it helps you make better decisions and contextualize what's going on in front of you today. Kyle, you had a great quote yesterday that you said every Horizon has a now, right? And meaning that as you're looking over, like Hey, I see the light from behind the horizon, it's actually called the maze, I see the maze love light that's coming from that city over there. But in order to get there, there's some steps I have to take now. And now I can orient myself in the proper direction. So the conversation with Steve accosted again, download the podcast and listen to it at 2x speed if you need to, to get through it, put it in your ear, it's going to change your perspective in a way that we believe you can deploy to today. If not just follow us on LinkedIn. And we're kind of like, give you those 30 and 62nd bite sized chunks that we try to edit them up make them look you know, haven't made them a lot of fun to watch as well. But yeah, man, that's good, good bring up that was definitely worth talking about, again, these level conversations, these higher level conversations. I feel like positioned all of us to make the case for the franchise retail automotive industry. That franchise retail auto should be an is and can be the very best solution for solving the transportation needs of this country. Moving forward. I know there's a lot of noise and there's a lot of things. Oh,

Kyle Mountsier  09:54

you're gonna get us on a whole nother 10 We're not gonna get to the news today.

Paul Daly  09:57

I don't know. There's a Have, we got to keep beating that drum more because that is the truth. And we know it's the truth, we need to make sure that OEMs and legislators and the general consuming public understand and believe that the retail auto dealer is actually there to serve them. And we're gonna get there, little by little, little by little and good. All right, let's talk about some news. I guess, dude, we need to say we're speaking of the new segway. Alright, that's fair. I'll take it. Okay. This is an automotive news story from this morning. This is something I heard a vinfast. Before I didn't realize what they were doing. So they're beginning to sell EVs. But the most interesting I think I thought about the story was the fact that they're leasing or having subscriptions for the battery in the vehicle separated from the actual vehicle. This is something we've been talking about a lot like isn't, hey, people don't know how to finance the battery in the vehicle, right? How is it going to depreciate? What's the useful life is there going to be a warranty that transfers to the new owner, and vinfast was like, Yo, we're gonna take a swing at this. They're like, this is what it costs to lease the car. And this is what it costs for the battery subscription and get this. So they have, they have two models, the VFA, the VF nine, one's a two row vehicle, one is a three row SUV, the prices for those vehicles start at 40,000, for the 850 5000, for the nine and the battery subscription, goes like this, it's a 35 bucks a month, for a low mileage lease on the V on the eighth and 44 bucks on the night. So you pay 35 or $44 a month and you get 310 miles. I don't know how they calculated that, but 310 miles of range. And then if you go over that range, you pay an additional 11 cents, or 15 cents a mile depending on the model. And if you just want unlimited miles, then it's $110 a month or 160 a month. And that's just for the battery.

Kyle Mountsier  11:51

It's okay. I

Paul Daly  11:55

don't even know how to finish this store.

Kyle Mountsier  11:58

I think it's I think it's genius. Right? I think that, you know, we talked about with Steve actually yesterday, this idea that the hardware in the software are now that they can be separated in their in their use case for the individual owner, right. And so this is an example of that. It's like okay, now we've actually we've really got two hardware pieces, because we got the technology of the actual vehicle and the technology, the battery. So how do we separate them in the way that a consumer purchases or leases them? The problem is, is what that presents is like you still have to build the original car, right? And so you've still got a 40 to $55,000 car that now has an additional I mean, 310 miles, bro, there's nobody in Nashville, there's nobody that does. Like, I'm the only person in the world that does like close to 310 miles in two weeks. Okay, right, you gotta go. Two hours to go six miles. It's unbelievable, right? So so you got to go. So now you got an additional 110 to $160. Now, I think that is just a precursor for someone else, maybe doing it more efficiently or better. And just, it's kind of that like, or, you know, my friend, our friend Ben Hadley always says like, sometimes early looks wrong. And I think that that could be the case here. But I think it's an ingenious move to think, Okay, we've got software as a service in the car, we've got hardware as the, as the as the body. And then we've got hardware as the battery. And kind of thinking about those in in subsets in ways of approaching the hardware and software of the technology of a vehicle purchase, I think is going to be a mechanism that allows like, I mean, we're talking about Jim Farley and them coming out Ford saying like, we're not going to allow customers to purchase their lease. Well, this could be that like side option. I still want the car, I want the core, it feels good all the software involved with it. I've upgraded all this type of stuff. But really all I need is the battery. You need a battery back and I need a new one. Yeah.

Paul Daly  13:59

So I like what you said, you know, where my innovation is a choice shirt today, right? Like taking a swing at it and saying like, this is a way we can solve the problem. It's not going to be the place we land. Right? I think it does a few things. Number one, and I think the biggest challenge with it is it adds a layer of complexity to a vehicle contract. Sure, right. And people don't like to keep track of things, right. They don't like to keep trying who's just tell me what it costs and like that's the whole premise behind subscription services in general. Right, let's get the insurance in there. Let's get all that in there. And so this does add a level of complexity to it. However, it is a proposed solution for solving that problem. I think people it takes one person to throw something on the table and before you know what everybody starts iterating on it and then you find something that consumer the consumer actually likes. So I mean conventional see, if anything, if we take anything away from this, it is that conventional thinking the way we used to do finance the way we used to handle products and software and leases and subscriptions like bye Felicia Talking about tearing it up. Yeah, exactly. dead dead, dead on arrival. It's gone. So just stop looking back and saying, Well, you know, we used to do, right. That's, those are the words. How many of you you know what we used to? I don't know. It's like eight words of death. Oh, no, we used to do

Kyle Mountsier  15:20

what we've always done that. Those are two phrases that are in trouble.

Paul Daly  15:24

Oh my gosh, no kidding. No kidding. All right. Let's talk about something a little bit more pleasant.

Kyle Mountsier  15:31

Unpleasant. Okay, so this is I ran across this. And it's it's not like a real, it's not a timely story. But it's a really interesting story.

Paul Daly  15:39

It's, you know what this story triggered in me when I when I saw it triggered some level of nostalgia, actually, all of a sudden, all these memories and thoughts of experiences I had with this came up. So for me, I'm in this nostalgia mode. Go ahead.

Kyle Mountsier  15:54

Alright, so I think it was CNN did an article about why flowers are placed at the front of grocery stores. And it was really insightful. So the founder of co founder and CEO of behavioral research and consulting firm and virus sale, stated that the reason why flowers are positioned at the front of grocery stores is mainly to enhance and engage someone's nose and saliva glands. So that they become a less disciplined shopper, meaning if they smell an intense because you're you're smelling your tastes are very well are very closely aligned. So if you walk into a grocery store are immediately hit with an engaged experience for your senses, which you have eyes on beauty, right? You have your nose being engaged with the beauty of the smell of flour, which then activates mates, your saliva glands, you're actually more prone to purchase at a quicker rate, walking into a grocery store, or less price, probably, what's that

Paul Daly  17:02

less price sensitive, probably as well,

Kyle Mountsier  17:04

exactly. And then what they also stated is that you've got this Salam, sublingual and imaginating, that everything in the store is now fresh, right? Because the first thing you saw is fresh stem, cut flowers, you know, in pots, growth, all of that, that the whole rest of the story is fresh. And the the real puncher is, even though that even though these flowers only account for one to 3% of the total volume of purchases in a grocery store, their margins are some of the highest at over 47%. So this is the what's funny is like, I didn't write the takeaway on this, you actually wrote it, I didn't have time to this morning, and we were on the same on the same line is like thinking about the retail experience as a journey is so impactful. And what can you do when people enter the journey whether digitally or in the showroom, to engage the senses that unnecessary for them to make purchasing decisions,

Paul Daly  18:02

man, you know, hotels, hospitality? Does this a lot with rice sense, right aromas that come in and it really does set the tone we were just at the on the was was the only resort. We were just in Virginia, in Virginia, the Grove Park in Croke Park, right on the grill Park, I noticed several times throughout the hotel that I would just get a whiff of like a scent. And it totally put me in a different mood. And it's pretty inexpensive to do that. Not saying like you have to do that. But really thinking about setting the mindset when you come in because we know already that the consumer mindset walking in our store is not a positive one. Right? It's one that is is full of anxiety. If someone walks into the service department, right, there's something probably went wrong in their life, which is why they're coming to see you.

Kyle Mountsier  18:49

Well, it's funny because actually Brian benstock and Patrick Abad, two of our good friends both say the same thing about their service experience. And one thing that they do on purpose is they bake fresh cookies multiple times throughout the day. Because that the fresh cookie reminds you of like coming home and being in a comfort comfort place, right eating that fresh cookie and milk or whatever. And so doing that it to engage the senses in a service department. Right? It's like, and then some people do popcorn, right. But that's like entertainment, right? Think of like, what popcorn does as opposed to what cookies do in a service department? Yeah, what that does for yourself is really wild, you start to think about the psychology of what that how that can impact, you know, decision making.

Paul Daly  19:35

I have a thought. I have a thought go. So what when you think of what a dealership has done in the past probably for the last 50 years. To give a sense of something when you're driving by the lot. What have you seen dealers do on a sale day or something like that. What happens to the balloons, balloons, right? Is balloons and popcorn. Right? So that's kind of been our version of doing that. Right? What if we did fly worse. We did some flowers on the cars. I think that would like set a different tone for the store. I don't know. I don't know. We just like it's easy for Marcy to just iterate like somebody knew this. Somebody. Right, but I bet it would work. I love taking, you know, we try to take cues from retail, because the consumer mindset is like retails dialed into how somebody feels and what influences their mood and their feeling when they're in purchasing consideration. We know by all the data shows us that an automotive purchasing consideration is one that is full of anxiety and pressure and stereotypes and all that. So I think we have to work twice as hard. I think if you take

Kyle Mountsier  20:36

honestly, if you ever want to do some research on the way that a retailer enhanced like an ability for someone to purchase that was in their line, go check out and whether you liked the brand or not Abercrombie and Fitch their retail experience, especially in the late 90s, early 2000s. I

Paul Daly  20:53

remember it well, Kyle. Yeah, well, if

Kyle Mountsier  20:55

you were in, if you were in the vicinity of it, you were missing.

Paul Daly  21:00

Right, you could find your way to the Abercrombie and Fitch store in the shopping mall. Remember those? From the other side of the shopping list? They would like empty a bottle of Cologne in the store every single day. But it really did. Man, it really did drive that home. All right, let's Speaking of things in the past segue. For one reason or another, I was like this morning, it's like what happened this day in history. I don't know why we've never do it in the emails. Sometimes you've never done it in the morning show. But I did a quick search. And thanks to the History Channel, realize that today in 1930, July 7, the construction of the Hoover dam began, we all are familiar with the Hoover Dam, you know, and kind of like the size and the scale of it. So planning actually to build it began 30 years earlier, it took 21,000 men working around the clock. The thing about that 21,000 21,000 People working ceaselessly it says, for five years and this part, this part is nuts. They finished two years ahead of schedule two years, and millions of dollars under

Kyle Mountsier  22:08

budget, said no construction firm ever, ever since the last time that

Paul Daly  22:14

happened. They were like this sucks. We had to wait two years ahead of schedule. How about all that planning we did for those two years. So what what I loved about this is this is was an energy production story, and a story of how we could take the resources we have implement implement, implement some ingenuity, and some big dreams, right? And 30 years prior, they saw horizon, right? And they started taking steps then and now what generates power and still does for over a million people. And it actually I didn't realize this provides reliable water source for millions and millions more. So I thought that was just interesting. It's always fun for me I love like what happened in history, but to to realize that like, Man, there were people on that hustle back in the early 1900s. And granted, I mean, not granted, but judging by the effects and the under budget and the early. They were on that hustle

Kyle Mountsier  23:05

pretty dang, they were on it hard. That's right. That's right.

Paul Daly  23:09

So we know you are on the hustle with us today. Look, if you haven't gotten Soto tickets, we hope you do it because we're going to continue that hustle but whatever it is, just think that horizon over there has a now so look down at your feet like what can I step next? How can I step next

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