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USP Trumps MPG

Automotive ad pro Jack Griffis told me about a dealer he worked with who visualized his market as “Joe and Gladys”.  Every commercial they produced was crafted on the premise of how Joe and Gladys would respond.   This made me think about how our 2012 market perceives the current gas price surge as compared with 2008, and there are two huge differences.

First, there is no comparison between the vehicles designated as ‘economy’ cars in 2008 and the 2012 models.  When it comes to vehicle content and value available today – the Unique Selling Propositions [USP] – it is no contest:  warranty protection is longer and more comprehensive, regular service and maintenance are now no charge, vehicles are available with Bluetooth and satellite and individual climate control and hands-free devices and GPS and the list goes on.

And when you read about the consumer’s still-confident mindset, now is the time to powerfully present the Tier III mantra:  a reason to buy, a reason to buy today and first and foremost to buy from your store.  Remember, it is the responsibility of Tier I and Tier II advertising to talk-up the USP and MPG so don’t let your message miss the mark:  your hottest merchandise with an attractive price will generate traffic!

Here is a suggestion to help your sales team see beyond MPG to the USP.  Pull a 2002 model off your used car lot and park it side-by-side with a 2012, then discuss the value advances in the past decade.  And why compare vehicles with 10 years of difference?  Because “Joe and Gladys” will most likely pull up in a 2002 model – the average age of today’s vehicle – and yes, they are ready to trade with you!

This is the third in a series on gas prices and how they affect automotive retail.  View part one.  View part two.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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