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Has car buying lost its emotion?

Image of our DS Automobiles digital brand storytelling.

How do you bring a dynamic object to life in a static showroom environment? How do you tell the complete story of a brand using only its latest products? How do you create a narrative when the focus is so much on the sale? And how do you engage customers with your amazing new products when most of your competitors’ products also look amazing?

These are all challenges of selling cars in today’s world. Every product looks beautiful. Every showroom is a corporate temple to the brand. Everything refers you to the website. And every website funnels you as quickly as possible to a configurator and a monthly price.

There’s almost no time to breath, soak it up and reflect. But we all know car buying takes time and it’s not a rational process, it’s highly emotional.

Post-pandemic, it could be said car showrooms have become a bit stark and empty. There had already been a move to ‘clean’ or ‘paperless’ showrooms some years before. But the pandemic gave the perfect opportunity to get rid of pretty much anything other than the car itself. It saves money too. And the time spent kept keeping things up to date.

In 2023, other than the car, there’s often very little the customer can touch, see, or take away and reflect on after their visit. Heck, in some showrooms even the cars are locked shut until you ask for permission to look inside. It's made it really hard for people to immerse themselves.

Why does it matter? Earlier this year Cox Automotive Inc.'s Car Buyer Journey Study showed growing frustration with the car buying process. The time spent in the buying process jumped significantly in 2022, with the typical vehicle buyer reporting the process took 14 hours and 39 minutes, up from 12 hours and 27 minutes in 2021, an increase of 18%. Of that, time spent online also jumped to 8 hours and one minute, up one hour and 12 minutes.

Clearly buyers aren’t getting what they need during the process and it’s taking longer to decide. Is that because brands are too focused on the rational, and not enough on the emotional? What about the irrational, the ‘brand-love’? Where has the ‘got to have it’ gone from car buying?

We Are Acuity recently completed an exciting project where the key objective was making it easier to emotionally connect with this brand. This brand has so much to love, but its not always accessible. To do this we developed a digital asset that collates and signposts all brand’s stories for use at national and localised retailer level.

And we did it in a way that hadn’t been done before. We created an immersive parallax experience with a rich and unique narrative that’s accessible via printed QR codes or digitally via a link for social, digital display and email marketing. Real storytelling that creates a connection, content you could truly fall in love with wherever you come across the brand. What's not to love?

To find out more take a look at our latest case study here.


At We Are Acuity we’ve huge experience of helping global and national brands build local brand love. If you are an ambitious bricks & mortar brand looking at getting a competitive edge, and need some marketing support on how to maintain your brand, activate it at local level and engage your outlets in your campaigns, get in touch with We Are Acuity today for a FREE marketing audit by clicking HERE.

Or if you'd like to read more about Local Marketing have a look at our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog


#branding #marketing #automotiveindustry

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