Andy Pilkington's recent articles
Converting ownership desire into purchase action is the challenge for automotive brands on social media
Analysis of Facebook promotion around the latest VW Beetle model suggests automotive brands face the challenge of turning social media brand love into purchase action.
Volkswagen UK have recently posted a variety of material around the 21st Century Beetle, encouraging fans to configure their own or to book a test drive. Content is very much focused on the attractiveness of the Beetle proposition to would-be purchasers.
In general, consumers react fairly positively to the updates, reinforcing the idea that driving positivity amongst your own brand fans is relatively straightforward. However, converting this into active purchases, especially for high value products, is more challenging. Indeed, on the VW page, although a fair proportion of consumers say they “would love to have” a Beetle, only a very small proposition express a desire to book a test drive or actually purchase the car.
VW promotional material meets with some negativity, but most fans still positive:
This positivity is often expressed as ownership desire, but consumers discuss actual purchase action very rarely:
- A substantial proportion of consumers express themselves as “wanting” the new Beetle: Many say it “would be great” to have this as their new car. However, this is more an abstract ownership desire than a purchase action, with many phrasing their posts in a conditional way, saying if they “had the money”, they would “love one”
- In only a very small minority of cases do consumers talk seriously about purchasing the car: Few talk about booking a test drive or visiting a dealership, suggesting that while brand love may be easy to secure for automotive brands, converting this into a purchase is more of a challenge