Manufacturers Increase Loyalty While Dealerships Try to Keep Up
Every year the automotive industry floods the market with new vehicles with new looks, and new features. Buyers often find themselves lost in a sea of makes and models with only a vague idea of what they may need. Because of this, car buyers often rely on brands they know, whether they are the brands they need. Is a Nissan the best option for your circumstances, or is a Honda? How would one know? The answer can be found within a local dealership’s doors.
People have been shown to be much more likely to purchase from companies with which their family and friends already have a history. This is where the power of brand loyalty comes in. More cars on the road mean more choices to make. Unless one is willing and able to find the time to preview every model, they will often go into a dealership with an idea of their car brand and little more.
It is for this reason that it’s become imperative for both manufacturers and dealerships to build and maintain a strong brand name. Choosing a manufacturer, and to a lesser extent, a dealership is like choosing a team. Everywhere one drives, they represent themselves through their chosen car. Companies such as Mercedes-Benz recognize this, sporting one of the highest levels of brand loyalty among automotive companies. This is gained through the prestige is synonymous with the Mercedes-Benz name. This quality leads to a customer retention rate as high 57%. This means that over half of those who have bought a Mercedes-Benz will buy another in the future.
Knowledge like this is equally important to the dealerships. An understanding of an area’s focus demographic can lead to satisfying fiscal returns. This information on demographics gives dealers a powerful tool. It assures dealers are well positioned to advise customers about all car brands, yet the dealer is tasked with best meeting the buyer’s needs. This often means that the dealers have to steer buyers away from the brands they may know, for brands they can trust.
A two-door BMW may be less important to a new family than a Honda Odyssey. It is a buyer’s job to recognize and take action on this. The brands that have the highest customer retention are often the brands with the most variety. This helps explain why Toyota, a manufacturer known for cheaper models, has been able to push into the market despite offering cars similar to those of its competitors.
Brands that are more open to varying the type of vehicle offered often do better. For instance, Ford boasts one of the most expansive lines of vehicles around, offering cars of solid quality that fit many walks of life. With a 64% chance that Ford buyers will buy again, Ford has proven that its formula is capable of attracting customers to their brand. Yet, it is the dealerships that feed into Ford’s brand with new and repeat customers.
Dealerships help showcase the primary differences between one brand and another, and because the dealerships are able to directly market in a way that the manufacturers cannot, they are also quite capable of swaying customers from brand to brand. 57% of consumers in the market for an automobile indicate watching videos online helped introduce new brands. Direct marketing through a dealership, is often the most persuasive form of marketing, and allows for new information to be quickly disseminated.