Auto marketers should focus on how cars makes consumers feel: The Growth Distillery

growth distillery reframe auto marketers

The research found the two conventional mindsets of car buyers – Utility and Premium – are now changing.

64% of people feel overwhelmed by the prospect of buying a car – up significantly from 49% in 2023 – according to a new report from The Growth Distillery, in collaboration with The Research Agency.

Reframe: Auto looks into the automotive landscape and the biggest issues facing both buyers and brands. The new research has found that marketers need to go beyond the car itself, with almost 60% placing importance on how the car makes them feel, not just what it does.

Ultimately, instead of focusing on what they are buying, the ‘why now?’ becomes more important for auto marketers.

Additionally, 59% of respondents are anxious at the prospect of going through the car-buying journey, while 61% are convinced all cars and brands offer very similar features and options. 

The research found the two conventional mindsets of car buyers – Utility and Premium – are now changing. The Utility mindset is no longer just about reliability, safety and convenience. These buyers are highly aspirational and want to be independent, to progress, to escape, and to connect, the research said.

The mindset of Premium car buyers has also shifted and is no longer solely about status and prestige. These buyers want experimentation, exploration, affinity, and individuality. 

The Growth Distillery research director Ciel Graham said “Australian car buyers are having really different discussions about cars these days. It’s never been a more important or opportune time for brands to (re)join that conversation, at every stage of the customer journey.”

Following the release of this research, The Growth Distillery is holding an Impact Workshop for the automotive industry.

Last month, The Growth Distillery partnered with Ogilvy and Kantar for the release of The Influence Codes, a research and insights program into what, exactly, creates influence.

The research proves that “a large portion of what the marketing industry believes is effective is categorically wrong,” Ogilvy Network AUNZ’s consulting, growth, and innovation lead Toby Harrison said.

“We now have a genuine and comprehensive understanding of what creates influence and how that power can be leveraged by marketers to deliver effective growth.”

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