Recent news that vehicles purchases have been declining year on year in the UK has some brands scrambling to look at ways to boost sales. Official figures for car registrations in March showed a sharp drop in sales of 15.7% compared to the same month last year.
This marked the twelfth consecutive month of declining new car sales, one of the main causes being a drop in popularity for diesel cars. Sales numbers for hybrid and electric cars were 5.7% up on the same month last year. Petrol cars grew marginally. The news is significant, showing that, with the demise of some traditional types of vehicles (diesel accounted for 51.3% of the market in 2012, compared to 32.4% now), automotive companies must look to changing attitudes and mindsets to vehicles in order to stay relevant with a wide variety of customers.
Customer-centricity is the key to remaining relevant and continuing to thrive in a changing landscape, but when it comes to customer data, automotive brands are at a disadvantage. While a retailer may see their customers 8-9 times per year, a typical auto manufacturer only sees their customers once every 3-5 years. By enriching transaction data with third-party data sets such as social intelligence, brands can understand the mindsets that lead to purchase and begin to align themselves with what customers truly care about.
Starcount has conducted an in-depth study into the UK automotive market, analysing the passions and motivations behind millions of consumers and clustering these together to form different mindsets, which can help to reveal the nature of individual customers. Here are the six key customer mindsets in the UK automotive industry that brands should be aware of, taken from Starcount’s pioneering Observatory platform:
Sustainable living is the top priority for those in the Environment mindset. From investing in renewable energy to researching electric vehicles, these consumers are interested in any initiative that contributes to a cleaner planet. When it comes to purchasing decisions, they value businesses with a social conscience.
The Affluent consumers are a largely male consumer group, with a London-focused lifestyle. They are well-off with a passion for finance and foreign affairs, often working in banking or related industries.
3. Money Saving
Those consumers with a Money Saving mindset are always on the hunt for a bargain. They love to enter competitions and turn to influencers such as Martin Lewis for financial advice. Although there is an equal gender split within the group, female Money Saving consumers are more likely to describe themselves in relation to their familial roles, with many of them being proud wives and mothers.
4. Family Values
The Family Values mindset refers to proud parents whose focus is on raising their families. The majority of them are female, and they are likely to be more cost-conscious than other mindsets, due to a financial responsibility towards their children. Many of them are new or expectant mothers, going through a significant life change and excitedly anticipating becoming parents. They are influenced by social media stars, actively seeking out people whose lives seem to mirror their own.
5. Car Enthusiasts
From their professional lives to their private ones, Car Enthusiasts’ primary passion is the world of motoring. Some of them work in the automotive space, from dealerships to driving schools. They spend their time scouring for the latest automotive news and love to watch motorsports such as the British Touring Car Championship and the World Superbike Championships. These consumers are brand-loyal, with their favourites including Lamborghini, Lotus and Alfa Romeo.
6. Tech Savvy
The Tech Savvy group are almost 75% male. They are fascinated by science and technology, with a broad range of interests that encompass engineering, astrophysics, aviation, fintech and data analytics. Many of them have made technology their profession, founding their own companies or rising through the ranks of established businesses to reach a coveted CTO position. They are attracted to pioneering brands with a commitment to cutting-edge innovations.
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