How to stop luxury cars buyers from defecting brands

By Automotive Staff | November 24, 2008
For those of you who may have thought that the luxury segment of the car market was doing better than the rest of the market, then take another look. Luxury giants like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus have reported horrible losses for September and October. With the current conditions, auto makers up and down the market have had to review the way they have been marketing their products. One lesson that they have learned is that it is more efficient to retain customers then to go after new ones. And auto makers have also learned to target customers who have not yet decided whether to stay with their current brand or seek a car from another brand. As they say, there is nothing like loyalty. Experts say that with every point increase in loyalty there is millions of dollars in revenue for the successful brand. If auto makers can keep loyal customers and persuade strayers to come to their side, then they may have a successful formula. With that in mind, MicroMass Communications, a North Carolina-based marketing agency, has been able to identify luxury car owners who are defectors from their brand, loyal to their brand or undecided. And the company has been able to hone a message that will motivate customers to remain loyal.
The key, says an exec with the company, is to use behavioral science to determine what makes a person act. The auto makers can know what “buttons to push” to get an auto consumer to stay loyal to a brand. So what are these so-called "buttons"? As usual, it's treating the customer so they feel "special" and unique. Because they are. Apparently luxury buyers break down into five categories, some of which have opposite agendas when purchasing vehicles. "Status Seekers", for example, look at vehicles to shout to the world that they made it while "Confident Pragmatists" focus on what the vehicle offers them. Each type requires a different approach and the faster a dealership realizes what works best, the faster the sale both at the time and in the future. via Auto News