4 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet: Make the Most of Your Awards

In Hollywood, everyone knows the value of an Academy Award®. The last two Best Picture winners, The Shape of Water and Moonlight, saw increases of 171 percent and 151 percent, respectively, in box office revenue the weekend after their nominations[1].

The auto industry should take a page out of Hollywood’s book. Third-party awards can dramatically influence how consumers view vehicles. Three-in-four car shoppers said awards from automotive review and editorial companies, like Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Consumer Reports, influence their opinions of vehicles[2].

Awards can make consumers more confident in their purchase and can sway them to choose a vehicle from your brand over the brand next door. Following in true Oscar® winner fashion, dealerships should put these awards on display. Here are four tips to help leverage your inventory’s award-winning status to drive more value and sales:

1. Promote Awards Across All Channels

As a starting point, dealerships need to ensure consumers know about award wins. These wins provide another way to highlight a vehicle that has been on the market for a while or add another boost to a recently introduced vehicle. Conventional marketing suggests repetition is the key to having an idea stick in a consumer’s mind. It’s important to remind consumers about award-winning vehicles multiple times. Cross-site promotion is crucial. While researching, consumers visit third-party, dealership and OEM sites. Dealerships should highlight awards in all areas, reinforcing the strength of the model or brand at every step of the car-buying journey.

2. Use Consistent Messaging to Build Credibility

After receiving awards, dealerships need to promote these accolades with consistent and strong messaging. If they misstate the award or what it means, dealerships risk losing public trust. Dealerships should look at their messaging from the consumer’s point-of-view. Is the messaging consistent and accurate? Do you have proof of claims? And, do you provide validation to the car shopper with links back to a third-party site for the award?

3. Differentiate Your Dealership with Brand Awards

As shown by Matt Damon, an Oscar® win can change your public persona. In 1998, Matt Damon was a relatively unknown actor who was catapulted into fame by his leading role in Good Will Hunting. After receiving multiple Oscar® nominations and a win for Best Screenplay, Matt became an A-List celebrity, landing roles in other blockbusters such as The Bourne Identity, Ocean’s Eleven and The Martian. Not only should dealers promote awards on specific vehicle listings, but they should also include them in overall messaging about the dealership online and in print. The individual awards can add up and help make your dealership the best and most trusted in the area.

4. Spotlight Awards in the Showroom

If someone takes home an Oscar® win, they are likely to display the award in their home or office. Dealers should do the same. Digital promotion is important, but the showroom and dealership lot remain

[1] Box Office Mojo
[2] 2018 Pollfish Survey conducted on behalf of Cox Automotive