Hyundai, Avis, Lyft and State Farm are among the leaders in loyalty in the automotive sector, according to Brand Keys.
Those four brands were tops in their respective sub-categories of vehicles, car rental, ride share and insurance. Other automotive sector brands that best met expectations and engaged consumers in 2022 included Curb (taxi hailing), Exxon Mobil (gasoline) and Via (carpooling), according to the Brand Keys Silver Anniversary Customer Loyalty Engagement Index.
Automotive sector leaders reveal a radically widening gap between customer expectations and brand delivery, as well as a more emotional consumer decision-making process, according to Robert Passikoff, Brand Keys founder and president.
The survey found consumer behavior and loyalty now almost entirely governed by emotional values, which focuses on how the product or service makes the customer feel rather than what the product does.
In 1997, the ratio between rational and emotional purchase decision-making in the automotive sector was 70% to 30%. Consumers now put more emotional weight into their purchase decisions. The Automotive sector has now inverted to 73% emotional and 27% rational.
“This is pretty much the kind of growth we’ve seen in most categories where emotional values drive consumer behavior and loyalty,” Passikoff tells Marketing Daily. “It’s not surprising, given the fact that rational aspects of cars and car buying have become pretty commoditized.”
Consumers have visceral reactions to a number of “rational” aspects having to do with the car, he says.
“Self-image and self-expression relate to car color, shape, and ornamentation,” Passikoff says. “Consumers look for sensory reactions to driving, which relates almost entirely to emotional values like independence and power and even joy.”