How do you market a car dealership? Sure, by promoting the cars in your showroom of course, but … the dealership itself? What sets you apart from other car sellers?
Your outstanding location, technical know-how or service level? Your ties with the local community? Your legendary founder? What do you want people to think and feel when they see your logo?
In short: What’s your dealership’s “brand”?
YOUR TAGLINE IS NOT YOUR BRAND
A brand is everything you are, and everything you want to be, in the eyes of your customers, suppliers, employees, and partners. It is affected by everything you say and everything you do. The slogan or tagline is NOT the brand, but it is used to summarize and convey something important about it.
On the Internet you can find numerous examples, and even a list of “401+ Best Car Dealership Slogans & Taglines”. A quick glance at the Top 10 of that list confirms that … well, that it’s not easy.
Or what do you say about slogans like “Ride like a boss”, or “Here comes the future”? Not quite as catchy as Das Auto (VW), The Ultimate Driving Machine (BMW), Follow your Ears (Laborghini), or Simply Clever (Skoda), is it?
WHAT’S IN A TAGLINE?
A tagline is often defined as your business’ mantra, telling people of interest who you are and what you stand for. Which can be tricky to do in a few well-chosen words. Sometimes it’s descriptive, revealing what you do, but the most famous ones rather attempt to signal an attitude, an idea, or a feeling. Like Apple’s Think Different or Nike’s Just do it.
Now, before you gather a creative team to come up with the dealership tagline of a century: What’s a realistic objective?
For the likes of Apple and Nike, with huge money bags at their disposal, the sky is the limit. People already know what they do, so the companies can afford to focus their huge resources on a seemingly vague or mysterious message until it means something for the audience.
If you can’t, simply tell your target audience what you can do for them, without boring them to death with hybris or platitudes. Make sure all your staff knows what it means in terms of customer benefits. And make sure to keep it! Usually, the sender gets tired of slogans and taglines long before the audience.
YOUR TRUE SELF
Branding rarely makes a big splash, not like a loud SALE! or SPECIAL OFFER! message. The key words are VALUE, HONESTY, and CONSISTENCY. Value for your customers, honesty as in telling the truth, and consistency as in reflecting this “personality” in everything you do.
Think of your branding efforts as a strategic investment in your identity. If you do it right, you will be recognized and appreciated for who you really are, and close more and better deals over time.
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