Consumers are looking for an authentic brand experience, and for your dealership, this means it’s time to get real. What does it mean to ensure authenticity in your brand? How do you convey your dealership’s genuine ideals, the ways in which you deliver on your promises to consumers? For many businesses, it can be a tricky concept, but when you come up with the perfect recipe, you’ll know, because consumers will look at you just a little differently. They’ll see you in a whole new light, and you’ll feel their trust, loyalty, and even their willingness to be advocates for your brand.
Think of the brands you trust. In fact, think of the brands that stand out globally as the most authentic. Among consumers, the following come out on top:
How do these companies do it? They connect with customers and provide an unparalleled consumer experience. And that’s what you need to do, too, if you want to stand out in today’s competitive marketplace. Your shoppers have changed over the past few years—and they’ll continue to change—making it essential for you to reach out to them and get to know exactly what they’re looking for in their dealership experiences.
For most shoppers, authenticity means knowing a business is truthful and honest, as well as transparent and genuine in their transactions. Your dealership will be able to present its most authentic self by recognizing the changing consumer landscape and continually finding new and innovative ways to interact with your audience. There are a few great ways you can capture consumer attention and ensure your dealership brand stands out as its most authentic self:
- Tell your story. Make sure your brand story is well-known, both by employees and consumers. Be proud of the values your dealership stands for and the foundation upon which your brand is built. When you share the inspiration behind your brand, consumers will have an even stronger reason to connect and do business with you.
- Be transparent. Strive to make every transaction seamless, ensuring shoppers feel included and informed throughout the buying process. It’s essential to offer transparency in order to build trust in your dealership. In fact, in a recent Edelman Trust Barometer, 55% of respondents said transparency is key to developing trust in a company.
- Get connected. A majority of consumers are connecting via social media platforms, and when you meet them and build relationships where they are interacting, you’ll become a part of their community. By investing in online connections and working to grow relationships with consumers, you’ll be sharing insights to your brand personality.
- Get personal. Modern consumers place a great deal of importance on personalization. When you take the time to get to know them and zero in on specific needs, offering content, deals, and even events intended especially for them, you’ll make their shopping experiences more meaningful.
- Empower employees. Your employees are some of your most influential advocates, so be sure they are empowered to speak up on your dealership’s behalf and interact with consumers to build relationships. They can help you offer a consistent brand presence, especially on social platforms.
- Listen attentively. Your customers want to give you feedback and offer insights, so be sure to fine-tune your social listening skills, as well as your in-person listening skills. Every review is an opportunity for your dealership to show off your great customer service skills, so it’s essential to respond effectively and efficiently to each one.
Authenticity is the stand-out characteristic that will grab consumer attention in a marketplace that’s already crowded with consumers and competition. In fact, most shoppers now consider authenticity an essential component when it comes to choosing companies and spending their money. When your dealership is able to convey your brand ideals, deliver on your promises to consumers, and offer meaningful engagement, you will gain the trust and business of more shoppers.
Shoppers will perceive true authenticity in your brand when you set selling aside for just a moment. Of course, the bottom line will always require your focus, but when you change your perspective and place importance on authenticity as well, you’ll end up selling even more! Because of your genuine interest in customers and their needs, you’ll end up with more repeat shoppers and word-of-mouth traffic to the dealership.
As today’s consumers continue to evolve, dealerships must do the same. Since brand authenticity is the most sought-after component in business interactions today, dealerships must work hard and focus on offering a genuine experience for every customer—every time. After all, an authentic dealership experience for your customers equals a better bottom line for you!
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.