Inventory Isn’t Enough Anymore. Why You Need Digital Branding.

By Matt Simonetti, Monday July 25th, 2022.

It’s no longer good enough to just have inventory.

You need to add brand value above and beyond the transaction.

Today, dealers are just as much in the #hospitality and #experience business as the car business.

It may sound rudimentary but whether you are selling cars, hats, or hamburgers you need a unique selling proposition to drive awareness, preference, and retention. Plus the experience needs to evolve far beyond just negotiation and transaction. That’s hard to do if you are only running inventory search ads.

The Consumer Price Index for June 2022 for new vehicles rose 11.4% and used vehicles 7.1% over the last 12 months. For reference, the index for all items less food and energy was only 5.9%. (

That is causing consumers to wait it out longer to replace their vehicle. The average age of the fleet rose to 12.2 years old! (,Average%20Age%20of%20Vehicles%20in%20the%20US%20Increases%20to%2012.2,passenger%20cars%20and%20light%20trucks.)

So we know supply is low and now demand is starting to wane. Does that mean sitting on the inventory as long as possible? Probably not if you want to retain your customers or grow your market share. The greatest growth stories come from the hardest of times where businesses are willing to go the extra mile to win the consumer – reference our Chicken Sandwich Wars article from the COVID era.

Retail Brands like Nordstrom, Marriott, and Taco Bell have moved into the #experiental space, is it time for dealers to get back into that? Some examples:

Remember 10 years ago when complimentary refreshments, weekend sales events, radio remotes, and dealership experiences like cafes and lunch and learns were the norm? Well, maybe they are back.

If your only brand is to maximize volume and profits, you may gain market share short-term, but lose your long-term customer base – we learn that in Econ 101.

If you want to be ahead of the return of inventory supply, you should be trying to win hearts and minds now by differentiating your brand from others.

Building brands, driving sales, and growing market share is what we do in digital, branding, creative, experiential, and media.

Take a look at the Psychology Behind Branding in this infographic from USC.

Want more insights on how Intermark Automotive can help boost your customers’ online experience? Contact us today!

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