Beyond the gleaming showroom floors and polished vehicle displays, branding is the unseen force that distinguishes one dealership from another. The success of a dealership doesn’t solely rely on vehicle sales, but also relies on the strength of a dealership’s brand. Read on to learn why dealership branding is important and how it can transform a dealership into a beacon of success within the automotive industry.
Overview of Branding and Its Purpose
Before we dive into the specifics of dealership branding, it is important to understand what branding is and its purpose. Branding is the strategic process of making a business or product easily recognizable.
Think of a time when you were in a store and could recognize a product instantly based on its look and packaging without having to read the name (e.g., Nike shoes)? That’s branding at work – it defines the company’s values, mission, and unique qualities, which are then communicated through visual elements like logos, color schemes, design, messaging, and customer experiences. Effective branding builds trust, emotional connections, and loyalty with customers. It is a long-term investment, that, when done correctly, leads to a strong reputation and success.
What is Dealership Branding?
Dealership branding focuses on applying the same strategic process mentioned above to automotive dealerships. It aims to convey the dealership’s, the quality of its products and services, and its unique selling points. Branding is a way to build trust and a connection with customers, differentiate the dealership from competitors, and create a memorable and consistent experience for your customers. Automotive dealership branding plays a crucial role in influencing the purchasing decisions of customers and fostering long-term relationships, ultimately contributing to success and reputation in this highly competitive industry.
What Are the Elements of Dealership Branding?
Successfully branding your dealership encompasses several key elements that work together to create a distinct and memorable identity. These elements include:
- Dealership Name – Your dealership’s name is often the first point of contact with customers, and should be easy to say, spell, and reflect your dealership’s identity.
- Logo – This is a visual representation of your brand, and should be unique, easily recognizable, and relevant to the automotive industry.
- Color scheme – Consistent use of specific colors in branding materials, from your website to physical signage and everything in between, helps create visual recognition and reinforces brand identity. Research suggests that using a signature color scheme increases brand recognition by an astounding 80%.
- Physical location – The layout and design of your showroom, building exterior, and lot creates a look and feel that should coincide with your overall brand image.
- Digital presence – A strong online presence is crucial to attracting and driving traffic to your store. It should include a well-designed, user-friendly website, engaging social media profiles, and effective online advertising.
- Customer experience – The way customers are treated and the overall experience they have at the dealership, including the friendliness of staff and the quality of service, plays a significant role in branding. Are your staff trained to be polite when serving customers? This is part of your branding and goes a long way towards building a reputation that your dealership provides exceptional customer service.
By carefully managing these elements, you can establish a brand that not only distinguishes your automotive dealership from competitors, but also resonates with customers and builds trust and loyalty over time.
Another way to build your dealership’s brand is to continue to support and market to your customers after the initial vehicle sale.
The Power of Dealership Branding and Post-Sale Marketing
Post-sale marketing helps dealerships build lasting relationships with their customers and enhance the dealers’ reputation and brand throughout the community. Learning how to effectively use post-sale marketing leads not only to better customer relationships, but other benefits such as increased revenue, higher reinsurance reserves, and more vehicle sales.
At Automotive Product Consultants, we offer post-sale vehicle service contract marketing programs at no-cost to dealers using their name, logo, and branding specifications. These programs market to dealership customers and educate them about the benefits of buying additional coverage from the dealership.
We encourage dealers and agents to contact us to learn how Automotive Product Consultants can power a post-sale vehicle service contract marketing program that will drive sales and revenue for your dealership. Reach out to us today for a free program demo.