Brand Identity in Automotive Advertising is Priority One

Brand IdentityWhen advertising an ad campaign in the automotive world, brand identity is what’s most important. What do we mean by that? Let’s use the  Kia Soul as a rather extreme example. Kia has associated the Soul with the “Hamstars.” You know the creatures we’re talking about; those hip, dancing rodents that have appeared on any number of the automaker’s Kia Hamstar Commercials over the past several years.


Now, what if the Soul was the only car Kia advertised, and therefore the Hamstars were the only image portrayed by the company? That simply wouldn’t be good for the overall brand. Our guess is that someone in the market for a minivan wouldn’t even consider the Sedona because they typically do not fit the demographic of the Soul buyer. The same goes for pretty much all of Kia’s other production vehicles. The K900 ultra-luxury sedan? Uh … no. How about the Cadenza or the Optima? Nope. Not even the Sorento, Sportage, Forte or Rio.


For this reason, Kia has positioned itself overall as a company that offers sporty, safe and economical vehicles that make driving fun. No matter which Kia attracts your interest, you can’t object to that!


Here’s another great example: think of what BMW has done with their products. Whether it’s a two-door or four-door, sedan, convertible or SUV, each of its vehicles is branded as “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” Pretty smart advertising. Who wouldn’t want to be seen behind the wheel of “The Ultimate Driving Machine”?


To be sure, each customer has different needs and wants when it comes to buying a vehicle, and this fact should not be ignored. Think about all the possibilities; the customer could be male or female, married or single, young or old, wealthy or nearly broke, etc. That’s why most brands have so many different models; if one doesn’t provide amenities to satisfy a customer’s specific needs, another one probably will.

Brand Identity Locally

On a local level, you certainly should include offers for one or two of the models you want to move, but doing too much more than that in your ads is a mistake. What’s much more vital is establishing your dealership’s overall core values. The dealership that can stay focused on its overall brand identity – and still find creative ways to lure new customers – is the one that will be standing tall at the end of the day.


Once your ads attract prospects to dealership, you then have the opportunity to demonstrate the diversity of your product line, and most will already know enough about your cars to determine what they don’t want. It’s up to your sales team to communicate with these customers, getting them into the vehicle that best meets and exceeds the prospect’s desires.


But when you advertise, stick with establishing the basic brand identity and reinforcing your dealership’s core values. You’ll be far better off in the long run, because trying to be “all things to all people” will backfire on you!


JKR Automotive Advertising: We Move Cars.