Long gone are the days where folks are simply satisfied with a good driving experience and a fair price.  Products in the digital age – even physical products – are expected to be connected, agile, and receptive to community engagement and communication.  Modern customers don’t just want a car, they want an experience. They want something they can show off, something they can share with friends in a constantly-connected world of social media.

How Are Brands Training Buyers?

The short answer is by competing for consumer attention with the latest and greatest. It might be technology, smartphone integration, or even social media campaigns, but modern brands are finding ways to give consumers a unique experience.

And when customers are used to something, it’s essentially training them to expect it.

Tesla Feels like the Future

Tesla is the hottest name in the automotive industry right now for a good reason – it’s not trying to deliver nostalgia or improve upon what came before.  Their entire brand is laser-focused on making customers feel like they’re getting something new, that they’re pioneers. They’re constantly dropping new software updates that, just like a computer or a smartphone, enable new features in existing cars.  In the past, you bought a car and that was that. Companies like Tesla are taking it to the next logical step – frequent upgrades to the car you already have.

Honda Leverages Social Media for Free Advertising

Not all experiences are about bells and whistles. For instance, Honda teamed up with National Geographic to create a contest that involved taking photos for Instagram and tagging them with #WanderlustContest.  Winners received a trip to Yosemite Park, but that wasn’t the whole of it. The contest had people browsing all of these gorgeous photos, provided by regular folks. It got them thinking about Honda, associating it with adventure and fun.  Then you have friends reblogging each other, creating a community out of thin air. It’s a perfect example of the magical phrase “user-generated content.”

Ford’s All-in-One User Experience App

Ford has decided to take a book from Amazon’s and Apple’s page and make a one-stop shop for all customer needs.  The FordPass App is designed to keep the consumer in one place. Whether the driver needs to find the nearest gas station, look for parking that doesn’t cost a fortune, unlock the car from a distance, or stop the engine, a Ford driver only has to visit one app.  These connected features all feed into each other. A user might start using the app to remotely check their gas tank every now and again to plan their trip better. Then, they realize it can also find parking or schedule a start for the future and start using those features.

Why Experiences Matter to Consumers

You’d think consumers would just be satisfied with a good product, but in a constantly-connected world, they want a customizable, bespoke experience they can easily share with the world.  In a world of Spotify and Netflix, consumers are used to their on-demand needs being satisfied.

Contact the ACE Group today for the kind of training that can make your dealership faster, more efficient, and customer-friendly.

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