For both new and established automotive players entering the car subscription space, the question of brand positioning and messaging is important to define how the service is perceived and recognised.
Branding for Car Subscription Providers
When it comes to introducing a brand structure for a new car subscription service offering, there are generally two approaches that automotive incumbents can take: a "single brand, multi-channel" approach or a "multi-brand, multi-channel" approach.
Single Brand, Multi-Channel Approach
The "single brand, multi-channel" approach can be helpful for positioning car subscription as a consolidated offering along with more traditional sales, leasing, or rental options that are already offered by the parent company.
By using the same brand for all of its offerings, the company can create a consistent and recognizable brand image, which can help build trust and loyalty with customers. Additionally, this approach can help the company cross-promote its different offerings, which can be beneficial for increasing sales and customer engagement.
For example, a car manufacturer that offers both car subscription and traditional car sales may benefit from using a single brand for both services. By doing so, the company can position its car subscription service as a convenient and flexible alternative to traditional car ownership, while still leveraging the existing brand equity it has built up through its car sales business.
Multi-Brand, Multi-Channel Approach
A multi-brand, multi-channel approach means that the automotive incumbent would introduce a new brand specifically for its car subscription service. This approach allows the company to create a brand image and value proposition that is tailored specifically to the car subscription service - especially where the target customer segment may not align with the existing brand - which can help differentiate it from other offerings in the market.
For example, a car manufacturer or dealer group may decide to introduce a separate brand for its car subscription service that specifically targets customers who are looking for luxury or high-performance vehicles.
By creating a separate brand for its high-end car subscription service, the company can position itself as a premium provider of car subscription services that offers a unique value proposition compared to its existing offerings. The new brand can be tailored to the needs and preferences of customers who are willing to pay a premium for a luxury or high-performance vehicle, and can offer features such as concierge services, personalized vehicle customization, and exclusive access to events or experiences.
Which Brand Approach Is Best?
Ultimately, the decision of whether to use a single brand or multiple brands for a car subscription service will depend on a variety of factors, including the parent company's existing brand equity, the target market for the car subscription service, and the competitive landscape.
However, it is anticipated that as car subscription become ubiquitous, a more consolidated approach would be advantageous.
For example, consider the existing approach of a customer entering a dealership and being presented with the options to purchase, financing or lease. Under a single brand approach, this choice can also include subscription simply as a standard offering.