Brand Equity Study for Car Dealerships | Market Research Company

One thing is certain if you are a car dealership. You likely are spending a ton on your marketing and advertising for customer acquisition. It is one of the most highly competitive industries in the U.S. Dealerships compete for the same customers and work to win leads through SEO, PPC, infomercials, social ads, banner ads, and much more.

The list goes on and your budget likely reflects that.

But is understanding the true return on investment (ROI) on your advertising frustrating you? Your digital marketing agency may be able to share impressions, clicks, website visits, and conversions but how else is your marketing impacting your target market? Is your marketing making a dent on awareness? Perception? Likelihood to consider your brand? Likelihood to purchase?

A brand equity study for a car dealership can obtain these critical answers to help better define ROI. If your auto dealership has a poorer perception in the community compared to your competition there is little a PPC ad can do to convert those consumers.

A brand equity study is designed to measure all levels of the path to purchase and provide your marketing team with the insights it needs to boost conversions and make your marketing that much more effective.

Brand Equity Study for Car Dealerships | Market Research Company

A brand equity study for a car dealership can obtain critical answers to help better define ROI. Provide your marketing team with the insights it needs to boost conversions and make your marketing that much more effective.

What are the steps in a brand equity survey for a car dealership?

  1. Contact our team to discuss your needs and objectives for the market research.
  2. Drive Research develops an in-depth proposal with a recommended approach.
  3. If you choose to move forward, our team sends an agenda and schedules a 60-minute kickoff meeting.
  4. Following the kickoff, our team sends a workplan outlining the next steps within 24-hours.
  5. Shortly after the project is kicked off, Drive Research drafts a survey in a Word document.
  6. Your dealership reviews the survey and offers comments, edits, and questions.
  7. Once the survey is finalized, we program and test it in our online survey software.
  8. Drive Research soft-launches the fieldwork to consumers in your market area.
  9. After the test drive passes our quality control standards, we proceed to a full launch.
  10. Once fieldwork is live, our team shares a real-time portal with up-to-the-second tabulated data.
  11. After fieldwork is closed we run our final audits and proceed to analysis.
  12. A draft report is prepared with an executive summary, recommendations, infographic, and much more.
  13. Our team then schedules a debrief meeting to walk you through the results and implications.
  14. All final edits are made to the report and your team is ready to take action on the insights.

What does a typical car dealership brand equity survey look like and how long does it take?

Our car dealership market research company typically recommends a minimum of 400 responses to your survey. With a true random sample, 400 responses offer a +/- 5% margin of error at the 95% confidence level.

If possible, the gold standard is considered 1,000 responses. With 1,000 responses the margin of error lowers to +/- 3% and allows much more flexibility and reliability with cross-tabulations.

For example, the survey data can be split to compare 500 responses from those under the age of 45 and 500 responses from those 45 or older. Each of those sub-segments still carries strong reliability.

Consumer sample in your target market area is typically sourced through two pools. 

  1. The first is using a survey panel. Drive Research has access to millions of participants across the U.S. through our partners’ email databases. These participants have opted into market research studies and provide a quick turnaround for our surveys for a nominal reward (pay per response). 
  2. The second is using paid social advertisements through sites like Facebook and Instagram to recruit consumer responses. The outreach works much like a Facebook ad but instead of selling a product or service, the ad uses the link to sell the survey. Respondents are encouraged to click the link to enter a raffle to win a substantial reward. These ads can be targeted to any geography in the U.S. or radius around your dealership(s).

How long does a brand equity survey take?

The timeline for a 400 complete car dealership brand equity survey is approximately 5 weeks. This includes 1 to 2 weeks for the kickoff and survey finalization, 1 to 2 weeks for fieldwork, and 1 to 2 weeks for analysis and reporting. This timeline is flexible.

Drive Research can work quickly if you need results faster or slow down the timeline to work at your pace if you need more time to review.

Read about our 2019 car dealership market survey where we set out to answer car dealership’s most challenging business questions.

What are the 3 key benefits of a brand equity study for an auto dealership?

1. Benchmarking and baseline data.

Conducting an initial auto dealership brand equity study now will help you understand how the dial moves a year, 2 years, or 3 years from now. How good is your digital marketing agency? A brand equity survey can hold the agency accountable to ensure it is boosting your more global key performance indicators (KPIs) such as awareness, image, perception, and likelihood to consider.

2. Fuel your marketing messaging.

A brand equity survey for your car dealership provides your team with all of the insights on what makes consumers tick.

Wouldn’t you like to know what people hate about your 2 or 3 core competitors so you can capitalize? Or the most important factor(s) when selecting a dealership among those aged 40 to 65? Or suggested improvements for your brand image to create a more positive perception in the community?

All of these questions can be answered through the survey data.

3. Content

The results can often make for great copy and content for your advertising efforts. What if the brand equity study for your auto dealership reveals your net promoter score (NPS) is the highest in the 8-county area among the 10 dealerships tested? This data point backed by an independent third-party can be worth its weight in gold for a billboard.

Let’s say you learn from the survey data that 90% of consumers care about:

  1. An easy sales experience
  2. Strong service department for follow-up work post-sale
  3. Flexibility in the negotiation of the sale price

This can easily become a focus on the home page of your website, and even ad copy in your PPC campaigns.

How much does an auto dealership brand equity study cost?

Our team will put together a custom quote for your team based on your needs. Some of the items which impact the cost include the length of the survey, the number of responses, and the level of reporting. Once our auto dealership market research company knows more, we can get to work on your proposal.

Contact Our Car Dealership Market Research Company

Drive Research works with car dealerships across the country to assist them with custom market research projects such as brand equity studies, customer surveys, mystery shopping, and much more. Questions about how we can help or need a proposal? Contact us below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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