Are you promoting the right benefits to your customers?

Safety, reliability, power and performance—these are the hallmark traits of a winning automobile.

… Or are they?

As automotive technology advances and consumer tastes change, will these continue to be the main factors that brands need to be promoting, or are other elements taking center stage in the minds of shoppers who are looking to make their next vehicle purchase?

car customerAccording to 2018 research by Consumer Reports, consumers in the market for a new automobile want better safety features and fuel economy than their current car:

Automakers spend more than $14 billion a year on advertising in the U.S., but not many of the ads promote fuel efficiency or safety features—two attributes consumers say they most value when shopping for a new car, a new analysis shows.

The industry is six times as likely to make emotional appeals—such as emphasizing the macho nature of a pickup truck or the wilderness-stomping abilities of an SUV—over promoting good fuel economy or safety, according to an analysis by researchers at the University of California, Davis commissioned by Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.

Appealing to customer emotions is nothing new (Subaru’s “Love Campaign” comes to mind), and safety will always be top of mind for consumers on the hunt for their next car. But ignoring fuel efficiency? That shows a disconnect between what auto brands think their customers want, versus what they actually want. As automotive public relations specialists, we see a lesson in this, and not just for big brands like Toyota, Volkswagen and GM.

Whether you’re manufacturing OEM parts or providing the latest in aftermarket accessories, there’s a level of critical skepticism you must apply to your own communication efforts to ensure that you’re not missing the mark with your customers.

  • Is what you’re communicating aligned with the brand perception you want to cultivate?
  • How do you ensure that your unique features and services are in alignment with customer needs?
  • Are you communicating what you think your customers want to hear or are you communicating what is going to drive them to make a purchase?

If you’re in charge of your company’s messaging, these are just a few of the questions you need to ask to ensure you’re promoting the right benefits to your customers. If you want an in-depth look at your communication strategy and where it might be re-aligned to connect with your customers, Ripley PR can help. Contact us online here or call (865) 977-1973 today.


Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

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