It is difficult enough to choose between two models you may be interested in buying. Analyzing the pros and cons of each model, comparing specifications and performance ratings, and getting an overall feel for the possibilities takes time. That is why some people tend to stick with one brand. “Brand loyalty” is an idea that has existed for the entire history of automobiles themselves. Some people go their entire lives without sitting behind the wheel of anything other than their chosen auto manufacturer.
While this can be due to the lack of information, these days, it is easier than ever to compare automotive brands with others. Forget about getting nitpicky with model versus model comparisons like the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee vs. 2018 Chevy Traverse. Before you even get to that point of pitting models head to head, think about the brands themselves. What do you get from the automotive manufacturer that is different or unique compared to anything else?
This is a question some new customers are hesitant to ask. After all, the only thing you should primarily be concerned about is getting the right vehicle at a good price, right? Not exactly. While these are important things to consider, you can get so much more from the manufacturer’s entire customer experience than just the car itself.
Here’s a new approach to buying your next car that goes beyond just the details of each possibility.
Know Your Brands
Some car experts can riddle off thousands of small, obscure facts about virtually any model that has existed on American roads. When it comes to buying your next car, it doesn’t hurt to borrow a very small page from their playbook to know the different brands available to you. Thankfully, it doesn’t require an encyclopedic knowledge or photographic memory of automotive history and design to get a sense of what each brand can offer you.
The trick is to get a basic sense of what differentiates each automotive brand from the competition. For example, a company like Ford has gone to great lengths to establish itself as one of the premier truck companies in the industry. Facing off against the likes of Toyota and Chevy, Ford has dedicated a good chunk of resources, marketing, and development towards creating a brand that sticks out in the mind of potential truck owners.
Jeep is another great example of this kind of unique dedication to a specific niche. For anyone wanting to conquer off-road trails, very few brands other than Jeep can compete or provide the same level of reliability and capability that models like the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee can provide. This is because the company has spent decades refining their SUV and off-roading platforms based on experience and customer feedback.
Arguably, each brand has a strength of its own that may benefit you. A little bit of research and asking around will help you determine which brands might have the strength you want to get the most out of your next purchase.
Know Your Needs
It is impossible to find the right vehicle if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In other words, what needs and desires do you have for this vehicle that the company should provide? If you don’t have a clear sense of what this list of must-haves looks like, you should take some time before moving forward to create such a list.
Think about how you intend to use this next vehicle. Is it going to be a daily commuter? Do you need great gas mileage? Is cargo room important? How you answer questions like these will help you begin to narrow down the field of both car companies and their models in the future.
Also, think about what you need from the company itself. Quite often, buying a new car establishes a relationship between customer and company. For continued service, extra accessories recalls, and other future events, the first place you will often turn to is the company itself. Creating a list of must-haves for a particular company will give you an additional way to rule out possibilities that have no hope of meeting your demands.
Comparing Your Options
After you have done a little bit of research and fact-finding, the time comes to see which options will benefit you the most. The best way to do this is a simple comparison of different automotive brands. If you have a very large list of possibilities, this process will help you narrow down the potential winners into a more manageable number.
There are two ways you can do this. First, simply think about what each brand has to offer you on its own. Consider their general lineups in the current model year, the extra services and warranties they provide, and practical considerations like how close their dealership is to where you live. If something doesn’t seem to match with what you need or expect from an automotive brand, cut it out of the list.
Second, start to compare different companies with one another. It never hurts to have the Ford versus Chevy debate in your head or with friends and family if you are loyal to one particular side. Even odd matches like a Jeep versus Honda can be fruitful to quickly eliminate a certain option when you know what you need.
Ultimately, the more you compare and reduce the list, the closer you get to finding that perfect brand that will fit your needs.
Making the Decision of Moving Forward
The final step to this approach is selecting which brand you want to move forward with. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are committing to buying a car from them in the first place. Instead, you’re simply deciding to give their model lineup more time and attention than you would otherwise.
From this point, you can begin to research whichever models and trims seem to be a better fit for you and your needs. You can still compare these models with other comparable options outside of the brand as well if you want. The key benefit is you now have a starting place that is more consistent with what you’re looking for than just randomly going with the company you’re loyal to.
Shopping smart is always the key to finding the best deals and vehicle for your needs. Compare the brands, compare the models, and find the right fit for you.