Convergent evolution at work

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Use you digital marketing presence to stand out from the crowd

Take a look at the two most prominent companies in our society: Apple and Google.

Decades ago, Apple began as a hardware company, spearheading the computer generation we know today, while Google got started as a search engine tool.  Two completely different companies commencing in related, although distinct product lines.

Today, when you look at Google and Apple, you see Android and iPhone. This is convergent evolution — when two unrelated items begin to look the same and take on similar characteristics due to their environment.

Is this bad? Not always. Having Apple and Google in the same cellular phone industry has spurred innovation and competition, which greatly benefit the consumer. But if they don’t make their brand statement strong enough, customers won’t have an idea of which product is better, or more so, which product they’d prefer to purchase.

How is your dealership handling convergent evolution? There are so many automotive brands for customers to choose from and even more dealerships to sift through in each brand. Is your store beginning to look like all of the others?

It’s not about the car as much as it’s about how can you get the customer to walk into your store as opposed to the one down the road. If I took a print advertisement out of a newspaper and replaced your dealership logo with the dealership down the street, would anybody notice? If not, you’re experiencing convergent evolution and it is time to reevaluate.

Manufacturers across the industry are implementing OEM-mandated makeovers. In other words, your store has to look exactly like the store right next to you. Same building, same design, different street. There are many benefits to this movement on a broad level, but dealers on the local level can find this requirement to be challenging in a variety of areas, particularly in distinguishing themselves from the competition. With these required renovations, convergent evolution is stronger than ever and it will take a concerted effort for dealerships to differentiate themselves from others.

The difference can’t come from the building appearance; it has to be rampant throughout your digital presence and operations. Only this kind of commitment to your brand will yield the results you’re looking for — ultimately bringing more customers to your showroom floor.

In a time when you are able to gain exposure for your dealership through a multitude of avenues, it’s imperative that you can distinguish yourself from others.

Logos, taglines, and value propositions are a necessary start, but to truly separate yourself from the crowd, it’s going to take a lot more than that.  In order to look different, you have to inherently be different. It has to permeate the culture of your showroom, staff, and operations. The answer isn’t the same for each store — it shouldn’t be. Every organization needs to find what’s right for them, so that focus can create greater differentiation between themselves and the competition.

Don’t look like the guy next to you. Look different, be different and you’ll see the difference in your leads, retention, and margins.

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