Why Your Dealership Needs a Branding Strategy
You can’t afford to leave something as critical as your reputation to chance, and a strategically-planned branding strategy ensures you don’t.
A specific brand-building strategy enables you to properly target your marketing, so you can attract quality leads and ultimately convert them. It assures you’re projecting a consistent, positive image. And it allows you to more productively direct resources – money, people and time – toward achieving those goals.
Your brand may be subjective, but a good strategy is not.
Branding is about creating a comprehensive picture — perceptions you want people to have regarding your dealership, the products you sell, after-market services you offer, your people. Brand strategy works because it gives you benchmarks. Monitoring progress and evaluating the results tells you how you’re doing.
A successful brand strategy addresses every possible interaction you might have with prospects or customers — how you look, sound, relate and respond, in person, or online. Your traditional advertising underscores your branding. Your digital marketing goes even farther to establish and reinforce the credibility and authority behind your reputation.
Your people build your brand, too, by how they answer the phone and talk to people, and how they demonstrate knowledge, skill, experience and friendliness. Even your facilities say something about you. Is your place clean and welcoming?
As a dealership, you represent one or more OEM brands, so your brand reflects on them as well. If your image doesn’t measure up to theirs, you’ll lose sales to some other dealer.
The future of your business depends on your reputation.
That should be reason enough to develop a sound strategy. Today, your brand is more important than ever to drive sales, because prospects and customers are looking for a strong foundation of credibility and trust. They aren’t just looking to buy, they want an up-do-date, dependable long-term working partner. An ongoing resource. A dealership that will help them grow their business.
Consistency is essential. If your audience is confused and can’t tell for sure who you are as a company, how can they feel confident in buying from you or relying on your for information and support?
A well-thought-out brand strategy enables your marketing to provide that consistency, by using both factual information and humanizing touches to reinforce the image you want to project. And it ensures your other interactions with prospects and customers – all those details we mentioned earlier – also consistently represent your dealership in ways that build a valuable brand.