Pacific has today revealed the findings of an extensive study into the state of the automotive market and the forces impacting car buyers.
‘Under the Hood’ is the product of a three-month research process integrating qualitative research, analysis of cultural forces at play in the Australian market and quantitative research involving 1,500 auto decision makers aged 18-to-74 from across Australia.
The research identified a number of broad and generational trends.
Some of the key findings included revelations that consumers respond positively to brands that give permission to live on the edge and indulge in excess.
Furthermore, the impact of climate change is forcing brands to find ways to help reduce humanity’s impact on the planet. Brands have to keep up or risk being labelled a problem rather than the solution. Car brands are not immune.
And, with the erosion of privacy both on and offline, our cities and roads becoming more crowded as well as our homes with the rise of multi-generational dwellings, cars are taking on a new role in our lives as the providers of personal space. This is particularly true for men giving rise to the term ‘mobile man cave’.
While the majority of those surveyed listed ‘value for money’ as a key driver when shopping for a car, the definition of ‘value’ was interchangeable.
This was also in contrast to having a vehicle they can be proud to drive, this emotional driver being a major factor in vehicle purchases.
Pacific’s director of strategy and insights Rebecca Alexander-Head said: “Marketers beware: when conducting traditional qualitative research, it’s all too easy to take consumer playback of rational benefits at face value.
What we see as a dominant force is emotional needs at play on a subconscious level”.
Alexander-Head added: “At Pacific’s heart is the ability to connect with audiences through culture and this research has served to deepen our knowledge of the cultural forces impacting auto purchases”.
She continued: “The findings are fascinating with ample opportunity for brands to leverage.
“Top of the list is helping families to resolve the tension felt between the need to compromise and the desire to own a car they can be proud of”.
Alexander-Head concluded: “And when it comes to appealing to women, a challenge for many car brands, we discovered that a communications strategy making finance appealing to, especially to mothers, will drive category growth.
“We can’t wait to help brands action these findings to better connect with people on the path to auto purchase”.