If you are a horse carriage manufacturer in the early 1900s, and are seeing somewhat increased adoption of automobiles, what strategies would you pursue?
1. Talk about passenger security
Show studies that demonstrate why traveling in horse carriages is inherently more safer than traveling in an automobile. Also, the fact that automobiles are not yet proven on the roads, and selective applications such as taking your family to a fair are better fit for using a horse drawn carriage.
2. Focus on providing bells and whistles to the passengers.
You may form a task force to focus on improving passenger comfort. Add wider windows, add wind driven fans, bells and whistles, install a news paper holding stand. Offer the carriages in different colors, bigger sizes, leather seating etc.
3. Focus on ecosystem by partnering with other vendors and value-add activities
Perhaps partner with fair organizers to provide a special parking for horse carriages, so customers can get off right in front of the fair. Partner with news papers to offer free news paper supply to horse carriage operators, form a consortium/foundation of like minded carriage manufacturers.
4. Offer Hybrid Carriage
Perhaps, add a motor to supplement the power of the horses and call it a Hybrid Carriage offering, thus best of the both worlds. While this idea may not actually work in practice, marketing can make lots of waves with the promise of this.
What else would they do that would help them compete effectively with automobiles?.