If you truly want to shape your brand, think in terms of touchpoints and how each one impacts the thought process of the consumer. Each of those touchpoints must have a powerfully emotional impact if you want to be both consistent and memorable.
What is a touchpoint then? A touchpoint is any point of contact between the buyer and the seller. A touchpoint can be in person, on the phone, or over the internet. Each one is important to the overall brand memory. Incidentally, I like to refer to it as a brand memory because it denotes the fact that brands are more than a logo, they are in all reality a series of memories within the mind of the consumer. Because of that, it’s important to think about how you, as a dealership, can impact those memories and help to shape them in such a way as to increase both customer loyalty and word-of-mouth.
Many dealerships look at marketing as a way to brand themselves a certain way. While that is true, that’s what marketing is for, there are many other touchpoints to consider. I’ll give you an example. Imagine that you market yourself as being easy to do business with. You position yourself against the common idea of what an auto dealership is but when a potential customer walks onto the lot, they are swarmed by pushy salespeople. How do you think they would react?
Think about it, you set up certain levels of expectations through all your marketing channels but then fail to deliver on those expectations… how would you react? True, managing expectations effectively can be a difficult marketing challenge but one that is of the utmost importance.
I say marketing challenge, when others might say a customer service challenge but then i’d like to ask you, what is the difference? In today’s day and age with the ability to leave a review just a click or two away, it’s important that you think of touchpoints and I mean ALL touchpoints as a part of your marketing plan.
So, what does that mean then? It means that you must look at all of your touchpoints and ask yourself, does this fit with the brand memory I’m trying to shape? If not, then you have something that needs fixing.
Example Touchpoints that You May not be Thinking About:
- CRM auto responders
- Receptionists greeting
- The salespersons greeting
- Facebook, Twitter, Google +, etc…
- F&I office
- During the upsell in the service lane
- The bathroom (think about it)
- Your website
- PPC campaigns
- What else can you come up with?
I could list more but I think you get the point. In order
System 1 and System 2 – 40 bits vs 11 Million
Decision making is difficult. It comes easier to some than it does it others. Responses are delivered to our conscious mind, dubbed System 2 by Daniel Kahneman at 40 bits of information per second, while our sub-conscious mind or System 1 can process information at 11 million bits per second.
I don’t have to point out which one can process more information. Why the big difference though? The prefrontal cortex, covering the front part of our prefrontal lobe is part of System 2, our consciousness. It’s the part of our brain that has many functions such as cognitive behavior, personality expressions, and the moderation of social behavior. The basic function of this part of our brain is rational thought, it houses our logical thought and actions. Since System 2 analyzes information as it comes in, it can’t handle as much information as System 1.
System 1 on the other hand houses, among other parts of the brain of course, our reptilian complex. Our reptilian complex is all about self. It’s the true decision maker and while it doesn’t understand such petty things such as words and logic it makes determinations based off of what is best for itself.
Why am I telling you all this? I am telling you all of this because it’s important to touchpoint analysis. It’s important to building a powerful brand memory that will stick within the mind of your consumers. It’s all about taking a holistic approach to marketing, and remember what I said earlier, everything is marketing.
Let me leave you with a thought. Knowing what you know now about System 1 & System 2 and about the reptilian complex being the true decision maker, how can you market your dealership in such a way that you can bypass the prefrontal cortex and speak directly to who can say yes and who can say no?
I’ll bring up one more point, a point that I think will wrap up what I said about both touchpoints and System 1 and System 2. If, through both marketing and by focusing on touchpoints, you are able to create a brand memory that moves the consumer past logical thinking (System 2) and satisfies the reptilian complex (System 1) in such a way that there is never any thought about going someplace else, regardless of price, you will be in a position to take more than your fair share of the market. How? By removing all doubt and focusing on what matters to them. I mean what really matters. And no, I’m not talking about price.
If you want to learn more about this type of branding then register for my upcoming webinar. You will be glad you did!