Detroit, MI — Phoenix Marketing International (Phoenix), a Honomichl Top-50 market research firm, reported findings that reveal consumer perceptions of automotive brands in the non-luxury and luxury categories. The study was fielded from July – September 2012 and covered 5,600+ consumers who were recently, or are currently, in the market for a new vehicle.
Key indicators used to evaluate brand health include unaided brand awareness, total advertising awareness (unaided and aided), as well as brand impression, purchase consideration, and recommendation. The study also provided analysis of open-ended brand association comments.
Phoenix’s findings depict a tense battle between Ford and Toyota over the perceptions and purchase intentions of non-luxury automotive consumers. While Toyota is a highly considered brand, it trails competitors in other metrics tracked in the study. Additionally, Phoenix’s analysis indicates a connection between brand scores and open-ended brand association comments. For example, Ford received high marks for brand awareness and recommendation in addition to receiving comments that uniquely convey Ford’s identity in the minds of consumers.
So what is it that leads consumers to consider Toyota and Ford over other brands? According to Phoenix Senior Analyst Kevin Severance, it has to do with adhering to a focused, active messaging strategy. Severance explains, “Toyota seems to have struck a balance between active messaging through frequent advertising and having created a resonant perception of quality that other brands haven’t quite achieved. Plus, they’ve done this despite past recalls that are still in the back of consumers’ minds. At the same time, Ford benefits both from its role in American automotive history and from consumers’ regard for the company for how it weathered economic downturn. Those perceptions coupled with active messaging campaigns that include a vibrant social media presence make for a very healthy brand.”
The study also determined top brands vying for the attention of luxury automotive consumers. Phoenix’s analysis of luxury brands reinforced the parallel between brand association and brand leading indicators like awareness, impression, and consideration. Each top-performing brand has incorporated its unique strengths into its communication strategy. As an example, BMW’s high scores for awareness, impression, and consideration are enhanced by the brand’s focus on performance messaging.
Phoenix Marketing will host a free webinar, “Top Ten Brand Performing Auto Brand Fall 2012” that discusses this report on November 8th at 2pm est. For information or to register please click here.
Phoenix tracks the brand health of leading automotive companies in two segments (luxury and non-luxury) and measures advertising performance across five vehicle categories (non-luxury car, non-luxury cuv/suv, truck, luxury car, and luxury CUV/SUV). Data are collected monthly from 1800+ U.S. consumers who have recently purchased or are currently in the market for a new vehicle. Brands tracked for brand and advertising data include Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Ram, Range Rover, Saab, Scion, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.