Best Brands Belgium 2017 - Lessons From The Automotive Sector

The Best Brands survey organised by GfK and Serviceplan rewards the country’s best brands, which are selected among the 10 major brands in over 25 different business sectors, every year.
The automotive sector is one of these sectors. Moreover, the brands selected for inclusion in the survey certainly have what it takes to be ranked among the winners in the coming years.
The specific feature of the automotive sector is that it consists of over 30 brands in Belgium alone. The 11 brands that were selected are therefore particularly strong. The first indicator that offers support to this idea is “first choice”, i.e. the fact that respondents know which brand they wish to purchase in advance. This result is usually counterbalanced by weaker brands, although this is not the case for the automotive sector. However, this brand power is also due to the fact that purchasing a car is much more important than purchasing day-to-day products.
It is nonetheless interesting to note that the other indicator where the automotive sector ranks first is the “high-risk relationship” indicator. According to the model used by GfK, being an enemy, a contentious partner, or an erstwhile friend is the sign of a high-risk or a negative relationship. The automotive sector receives this relatively unenviable award for two reasons: the heavy competition between brands reduces drivers’ loyalty; meanwhile, drivers are proving increasingly choosy in terms of the services received, given the size of their investment, and feel free to call the brand into question at the time of their next purchase.
As we are aware, local representatives of automotive brands have no (or very little) control over the products that they are required to sell. They are retailers, whose role is to maximise the product-related experience offered to customers in order to retain them. This experience is now becoming increasingly digital, including where selling cars is concerned. What role does off-line marketing play in all of this? What changes must be made to the role of a car dealer, as we understand it today? The first hints will be revealed on 10 October, along with the results for the new Best Omnichannel Brand category at the House of Data event jointly organised at Musée du Cinquantenaire by Serviceplan, GfK, and Media Marketing.

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