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Automotive Marketing Facts: The Brand Image Collision

By October 6, 2015 December 9th, 2015 No Comments
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The Brand Image Collision

Now, both Honda and Toyota will not allow dealers to advertise prices below invoice, but what happens when your dealer group brand image is “No-Haggle Pricing” and the market price for vehicles is below invoice? Setting a floor on advertised pricing within a brand encourages dealers competing on price to move toward a No-Additional-Fees Policy in their advertising instead, but that may not be the optimal way to go for all brands within a dealer group. Other brands not only lack any advertising price floor, they reward advertising deep discounts on the core unit with stair-step programs. With these brands, it’s almost essential to advertise low prices and make some of it back in doc fees and other hidden charges. Just when more and more dealer groups are trying to establish a single brand image across multiple franchises, the wide variation and increased fluctuation in manufacturer guidelines makes that harder and harder to achieve. Last year, I started talking about the coming collision between manufacturers looking to solidify and differentiate their brand images, and dealer groups trying to do the same thing across multiple franchises. The deepest irony is that successful branding requires consistency, yet franchise brand standards for dealership pricing and promotion are changing faster than ever. That makes branding harder for everyone, and that’s a fact.