In this case, brand loyalty is the difference between billions on the bottom line.
As much as we’d love to flatter ourselves and think of our species is a rational one, the fact of the matter is that we’re highly prone to making emotion-based decisions whether it’s to our benefit or detriment. Just look for proof of that in your last breakup. Our flawed logic is something advertisers know well, especially those working for Chevrolet who are keen on one day beating Ford and becoming America’s largest truck maker. In order to do that, Chevy is relying one another very human trait: loyalty.
Automotive News was curious about the phenomenon of brand loyalty in the truck market and decided to follow how Chevy uses it to garner more sales. It interviewed buyers like the Mack family, which scorns any truck with a Blue Oval on its grille and passes down its Bowtie-loving tradition through the generations by bequeathing old Silverados to young family members. "The loyalty is really at the heart of everything we want to do," said Alan Batey, GM's North America president. "Everything we're doing is to build the most loyal customers we can in the industry, because it's just the right thing for our business.”
Given the landscape of the American truck market, that's a wise plan to stick to. Not only is this terrain the most profitable for automakers, it’s also one that’s not crowded by competition. Truck sales make up more than 30% of US vehicle sales, and unlike the sedan and crossover segment, it’s run almost entirely by three major players‚—the rest remaining on the sidelines scooping up what’s left of those buyers. It’s for this reason that it pays for GM to keep buyers coming back to its dealerships. One way it makes this possible is by using loyalty programs such as Truck Legends, which rewards buyers who have more than 100,000 on their Chevy trucks or who have bought or leased at least two new trucks in the past.
The program brings this community of Chevy truck lovers closer together by offering them brand merchandise, access to exclusive events like the recent surprise unveiling of the 2019 Silverado, and gives exclusive test drives of new products. With the segment’s ruling class battling for each and every profitable sale, programs like these acknowledge that truck makers cannot rely only on trying to out-engineer one other and must fight for the hearts, minds, and loyalty of their customers.