Working in automotive over the last 12 months has been great. Managing projects for some automotive giants such as Citroën UK Peugeot UK DS Automobiles UK Mazda UK has allowed me to see the intricacies of the industry as well as the positioning that different brands look to adopt. In addition to the regular contact I have with these clients, usually in head office, it’s great to get out and about to visit some of our partners in the dealer networks. It allows us to see what a customer sees, and experience what a customer experiences.
Last week, We Are Acuity went on tour so we could understand more about the customer experience within Jeep, Alfa Rome, Fiat and Abarth & C. Spa dealerships. Myself, Mike Darvill and Peter Cronin spent the afternoon first at Palmers in Hemel. It was great to walk round the showroom full of Jeep, Alfa Romeo UK Ltd., Subaru UK SsangYong Motors UK MG Motors and Fiat models There was plenty of all the brands to look at and we got to live the customer experience fully as members of the sales team engaged us and were able to give us information.
We then headed to Thames Alfa Romeo and Jeep. It was a really nice experience. Great looking cars in a modern environment. The showroom was spilt over 2 floors packed with POS, lots of stock and we loved how some models were up on floor plinths, making us feel immersed in that specific car. The majority of cars were open for inspection and customers could sit in and get a feel for the vehicle and again the sales staff were very friendly and informative. These days staff tend to avoid a hard sell and let you experience the products at your own pace.
Having not experienced some of these brands before I came away with a clear understanding of their positioning. A brand like Alfa Romeo will take pride in the fact that its models are sporting and more high-end. Whereas the outdoorsy, adventurous nature of Jeep really shone through. The positioning of the cars and the abundant POS surrounding them showed that they were something you would ‘want’ to look at. Walls were complete with large graphics of heritage models and any current campaigns running which made the experience feel like you weren’t just stepping into a showroom, but into the brand.
There’s lots of disruption in the industry right now and the role of dealerships moving forwards is evolving, for some brands more than others. For me, visiting these dealerships added value and I would imagine customers feel the same. Comparing a physical visit to viewing online, being at a dealership allows you to feel more immersed in the brand and there is the benefit of seeing the cars in person. This can help you size up the car and sit inside, getting a feel for the seats and in-car experience. It is also always handy to have a knowledgeable salesperson nearby. While you can just Google any queries, you won’t always get a direct answer. A salesperson can directly answer whatever question you’ve got.
If you work within automotive, be it a retailer or at brand level, we’d love to understand your view and talk to you about the future of auto retailing. Why not schedule a FREE 30-minute assessment today here? It will be well worth your time.
Or alternatively read more about Local Marketing on our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog