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Patrick McMullen

Patrick McMullen Senior Vice President of Strategy and Innovation

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How to Create a Dealership Brand Promise in 5 Steps

A meaningful brand promise is essential to a successful dealership. It helps define your dealership for customers by telling them who you are, what value you bring to the table, and what unique factors differentiate you from your competition. The goal of your brand promise is to show your commitment to your customers, honestly and effectively.

Step 1: What Makes You Unique?

Start with how your dealership does business differently. You want your brand to stand out amongst all the other competitors. Here are some qualities to consider:

  • Quality & Value
    • Does your dealership provide price validation, transparency in vehicle history, honest expert reviews, discounts, loyalty programs?
  • Reassurance
    • Do you offer peace of mind with money back offers? Warranties?
  • Vehicle Selection
    • What vehicles does your dealership provide? How do you help customers pick the best fit for their needs?
  • Product Price
    • How do you price your vehicles? Are you a one-price store? Is your pricing consistent across your platforms?
  • Sales approach
    • Is your sales approach quick or thorough? How do you pay your sales team and how does this affect the customer?

Think about each of these qualities and decide which lines up most with your core promise to customers. This is the part of your brand promise that your dealership will be known by.

Step 2: What’s Your History and Role in the Community?

Ask yourself: What impact has your dealership had on the community historically? How has your dealership grown and what tactics are you using to grow it further? Are you the largest in sales? Best in service?

Additionally, what aspects about you will your community find relatable and understandable? What is your local personality?

Step 3: Create a Powerful Brand Promise Statement

Combining your results from steps 1-2, draft a brand promise that most effectively describes the unique values and advantages of your dealership. It should be honest, concise, and understandable. It often helps to discuss your brand promise with other members of the company.

Here is an example brand promise statements from a successful dealership: “Offering a quality commitment on every pre-owned vehicle, including a 3 Day/3,000 mile money back guarantee.”

Step 4: Take Your Brand Promise for A Spin

Test drive your brand promise with current customers using surveys or focus groups. Do they think the statements accurately reflect who you are as a dealership? Additionally, have your sales team practice introducing and explaining the brand promise to customers.

Step 5: Go Public

Working with your communication and leadership teams, create a marketing strategy to introduce the brand promise to the masses. This might include:

  • Signage featuring your brand promise hanging in the showroom
  • Posting your brand promise prominently on your website and social media channels
  • Printed materials given to prospective customers

Developing a simple, meaningful brand promise will show your customers why their experience with your dealership is going to be different, and better, than any other dealership they’ve dealt with. But most importantly, make sure you are delivering on that promise to customers every day.

Mark  Nicholson

As with any brand, the consistency of what you aspire to or stand for has everything to do with how well you're able to represent your goals. 

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