5 Steps to Build Your Dealership’s Brand Promise

May 16, 2018

A brand promise helps define your dealership for customers. It tells them who you are, reflects your character, reputation, value proposition and how you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Most importantly, a brand promise presents your commitment to your customers and explains why you deserve their business.

Step 1: Define How You Do Business

Start with how your dealership does business differently. Ask yourself how does your dealership deliver the following qualities to customers?

  • Quality & Value- Do you offer inspection commitments, warranty information, free vehicle history reports, service discounts, or free car washes for loyal customers?
  • Peace of mind- Do you offer money-back guarantees or parts replacement coverage?
  • Selection- What vehicles are available to customers, both on the lot and within a corporate family, if applicable
  • Price- What is your pricing philosophy: No haggle? Fair value? Is your online pricing consistent with showroom pricing?
  • Sales approach- How might your method of paying salespeople affect the customer? Do you offer no-commission sales? Flat fees?

Which of these qualities define how you do business? Decide which should be part of your core promise to customers.

Step 2: Incorporate Your Dealership’s History & Role in the Community

What role has your dealership historically played in your market and community? For example, are you the largest dealership in your area? Best in service? The low-price leader?

Additionally, are you involved in your community? Your brand promise should reflect the local personality of your business.

Step 3: Draft a Brand Promise Statement

Using the results from steps 1-2, develop a preliminary brand promise statement. Keep it honest, succinct and easy to understand. Brainstorm with managers and other employees who work with customers. Take your brand promise statement to employees for their input.

Here are a few example brand promise statements from successful dealerships:

  1. Offering a quality commitment on every pre-owned vehicle, including a 3 Day/3,000 mile money back guarantee
  2. No pressure sales—our sales consultants are not paid on commission
  3. Free vehicle history reports

Step 4: Test Drive Your Brand Promise

Test out 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: Share Your Brand Promise With The Masses

Working with your communication and leadership teams, create a strategy to introduce the brand promise publicly. 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 and information folders given to prospective customers

Developing a simple, powerful brand promise— and delivering on it—will show your customers why their experience with your dealership is going to be different, and better, than the dealership they visited last time or earlier that day.