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Ketty Colom

Ketty Colom Digital Marketing Specialist

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Brands and Personal Connections

As marketers we believe that most consumers feel personally connected to their favorite brands even amid a scandal or PR disaster (ex Chick-Fil-A’s scandal last year), but now there is new research to prove this.

Angela Y. Lee, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Monika Lisjak, a doctoral candidate at the Kellogg School, and Wendi L. Gardner, an associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University, examined the relationships people have with brands in a series of experiments.

"If you believe that a brand is part of you, and you read something negative about it, how are you going to react?" asked Lee. "Are you going to stop using it? Or do you use it even more? A brand is very intangible — in a way, the brand goes even beyond the product itself or the actual object. So from a psychological perspective, it's interesting to consider the dynamic relationship between a consumer and the brands that they consume.”

The study found that consumers are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy, and reputation to maintain attachment to their favorite brand. They basically see themselves as an extension of the brand and the stronger the attachment the more willing they are to sacrifice in order to maintain connected to that brand.

So how can you develop an authentic brand for your dealership?



  1. Determine your vision and purpose
  2. Determine your target market
  3. Determine who your competition is
  4. Remember the 3 C’s for branding: Clarity, Consistency, and Constancy
    1. Make sure your brand’s message is clear, consistent on all fronts, and making sure this message becomes ubiquitous with your brand.
  5. Ask your customers to describe your brand in one word
    1. Ask this after they purchase a vehicle or after a service on their vehicle is complete
  6. Understand your value
    1. What can you offer your customers?
  7. Define your position strategy

As a final point, don’t try to recreate someone else’s brand message. Be unique and true to what your dealership can offer.


Do you have any advice on developing an authentic brand message? Please feel free to comment below!

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