Finishing up this week’s series on the automotive industry, today we focus on which car brands are likely to benefit the most from positive brand advocates.

Focusing on the most popular car brands we track, current or previous Honda Owners are the most likely to be speaking positively about their experiences with the brand. 4 in 10 say they would advocate Honda, which compares to just under a quarter of Renault Owners who say the same about Renault.

Interestingly, the more premium brands aren’t necessarily ahead here. Honda and Toyota outscore the likes of Audi and BMW by some distance, for example.

Willingness to promote a brand varies across the generations.

Millennials are more likely than their Baby Boomer counterparts to be advocating the different car brands.

36% of Millennial BMW Owners would recommend or promote the brand, for example, vs just 24% of Boomers. Across most of the brands tracked, the Baby Boomer generation are less likely to be advocating. This can be linked to the difficulty in getting this audience to review products and brands more generally – they’re 36% less likely than average to be posting reviews each month, while younger generations tend to be more vocal than average.

Most car brands are likely to face an advocacy gap, and marketers need to use their brand-building skills to stimulate their buyers to promote the brand after purchase. To take an example, Toyota did this well in the past as it gave purchasers of its Prius model a business card which had facts about the brand, which they could then share around.

But what will compel customers to go out and spread the word about a brand rather than just getting a good feeling inside about choosing it?

For current Car Owners, it’s high-quality products which is the biggest driver of advocacy, but there’s over a third who would do so out of simple love of the brand – once again, showing the importance of building a positive brand image and perception.


Written by

Katie is a Strategic Insights Manager at GWI. Moving to the company 4 years ago, Katie heads up the Strategic Insights team, overseeing the production of bespoke assets for clients. Katie also writes on GWI's blog, with a particular interest in social media and marketing.

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