Automotive brand awareness has probably not been a priority in your inbound marketing initiatives. Generally, big car manufacturers elevate a car’s brand nationwide. However, generating brand awareness of your specific dealership is just as important.
Issues like elevated search rankings and referral marketing may appear more important, but in actuality, automotive brand awareness at the dealership level remains keenly important for its ability to sway less plugged-in consumers, confer advantages in tightly competitive markets, and build customer loyalty.
The most important advantages of automotive brand awareness are:
- Association with excellence—A powerful brand that is related to outstanding value, integrity or customer service can not only draw new customers into the showroom, but it may convince existing customers to remain loyal long after an original sale is made. Most consumers look at price tags first, but they remain open to the more qualitative features in a dealership like their commitment after the sale and genuine humanity, which can often counter a less than competitive price.
- Reliability—Consumers who can choose between two or more dealerships with similar products at similar prices will often rely on their general feeling about the brand of the dealership. A more established name that has greater automotive brand awareness is likely to win those neck-and-neck competitions.
- Product enthusiasm—Highly satisfied car buyers are unlikely to switch brands because it introduces an unnecessary risk into the purchasing process. If the last car from your dealership met or exceeded their expectations, they are unlikely to consider other brands. This enthusiasm will often translate into referrals and reputation enhancement.
The most important ways to achieve automotive brand awareness include:
- Target customers—Marketing your brand to the right segment is imperative. If you would like to emphasize competitively priced cars, you may wish to market exclusively to families or young people through platforms like social media.
- Leverage your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)—Identify the key characteristics you would like to associate your brand with and develop your marketing strategy around them. Once you have identified these traits you can tailor marketing initiatives such as keywords, SEO and print marketing to communicate your UVP.
- Customize your website—Your website is likely the initial point of contact any consumer will have with your organization. In order to immediately convey the unique benefits of your dealership, your website should prominently display these advantages on the landing page.
- Invest in social media—It takes time and effort to build automotive brand awareness because it can be several years before you interact with a prior customer again, but in online communities, your dealership can engage customers continuously. Facebook and Google+ offer your dealership the opportunity to learn about consumer interests--which can be used to modify marketing campaigns—or issues with vehicles—which your dealership can immediately remedy. By maintaining these relationships, your dealership can remain in the minds of customers and accelerate the development of automotive brand awareness.
Building automotive brand awareness for your dealership is a long-term strategy, but one that produces significant dividends.
Including a strong social media campaign, unique value propositions and tailored marketing initiatives in your inbound marketing plans will make your dealership the destination of choice for your target consumers.