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Marketing and advertising insights for automotive suppliers

Automotive OEM Supplier Brands Must Strike a Nerve

Automotive OEM Supplier Brands Must Strike a Nerve

Emotion drives us all, even automotive OEM supplier customers.

We, the people, are darn near impossible to explain.

Branding can be baffling, too.

The emotional tail wags the rational dog.

As much as psychologists, research firms and advertising/branding agencies claim to know what makes consumers tick and why we all buy what we buy, they’re kidding themselves. When it comes to this line of business, “The emotional tail wags the rational dog” is so very apt.

You’re human, right? How many times did you buy a pair of shoes or a bag of chips without really knowing why? Would the shoes last longer than another pair? Were the chips 28% more delicious than the next brand? Many of the purchases we make on a daily basis are fundamentally irrational. Impulse purchasing is a real thing.

Even experts can’t explain it.

Professionals whose job it is to study consumers and their purchasing process, and who’ve accumulated tons of data on the subject, claim that when consumers consume, logic and reason are summarily tossed out the window.

“You just know it when it hits you.”

Even automotive OEM brands must reckon with irrationality. All consumers, both personally and professionally, are human. And as humans, they have fragile personalities that defy explanation. The consuming public consists of emotional beings influenced by their own changing mood.

One day, they’re this. The next day, they’re that. They love you today but hate you tomorrow. That’s just the way the emotional ball bounces.

So what can your automotive OEM supplier brand do about the irrational human behavior of your biggest customers and prospective customers?

Strike a nerve.

Most business-to-business marketers think all business decisions, unlike personal decisions, are rational, with logical, quantitative findings backing them up. But even the most rational business decisionswith profound dollars-and-cents implications can be impacted by emotion, by involuntary reactions to different kinds of marketing messages.

Sadly, rational thinking can oftentimes lead to uninspired marketing.

Communications that look and sound like everyone else’s. Cold, lifeless, overwritten communications that are so very easy to ignore.

A great marketing message is a STOP sign.

Some of the most effective business-to-business marketing is downright funny. Amazingly clever. Refreshingly simple. Dramatically different. (A gutsy b-to-b headline I’ll never forget: “Second-rate CMOs, please turn the page.”) It’s in the best interest of your company and your brand to post STOP signs that your audience will notice, and spend more time with.

Otherwise, it’s just white noise.    

Brand Positioning

Ernie Perich

As the owner and creative director of Perich Advertising + Design for more than 30 years, Ernie knows a thing or two about automotive marketing. He combines brand strategy with smart creative to help automotive suppliers strike a nerve. Contact

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