Car Buying Behaviours and the Celebrity Factor
Buying a car can be hard enough; do I want a hatchback, saloon, 4-door, 2-door, convertible, four-wheel drive? How much can I afford to pay for insurance? Furthermore, being given the hard sell in the dealership showroom can add more pressure. However, do we need the hard sell or have we already subconsciously made a decision on the car we would like to buy?
Studies have shown that many customers do not need the hard sell, but instead just a picture to show off the features of the car. We’ve all probably seen an advert on television or a picture in a magazine or newspaper, which has made us look at the car and want to have one on the spot! Obviously, it aids the customer if the picture is of something sleek and stylish rather than a rust-bucket, which is why the desirability of vehicles such as a sporty hatchback is high.
Manufacturers are clever in the way that they’ll do this. You’ll notice on more occasions than not with car adverts that the price provided is not for the car you are seeing. The picture of the car will be the top of the range version with all of the possible extras, but in fact the price you’ll be told is the “starting from” price for the lowest car in its’ range. The price for the actual car you are viewing will usually be in small print at the bottom of the advert.
Do, however, the roles of celebrities come into play in persuading us to purchase a certain make or type of car? I believe that they do.
Take a look at the BMW X5 for example. Since the release of this car, every celebrity and their dog have one. I believe as a consequence of this, the amount of non-celebrities driving this car has risen dramatically. The same can be said for a few cars, which brings the assumption that we, to some extent, base our lifestyles on celebrities, who influence us to purchase cars that are deemed fashionable and popular by them.
The bases for buying a certain car by many will be “will my friends laugh at me?” and “will I look cool in it?”. After all, the technological strides of manufacturers recently have meant that the reliability and performance of vehicles is very good, and certainly more than adequate for most drivers using city and country roads. So what else can there be to influence the decision of car buyers other than the “cool” factor?
Maybe, the running costs and fuel consumption is prominent somewhat; especially for the four-wheel drive and high performance vehicles. However, the celebrity power has certainly persuaded many in their car buying decisions, and will almost definitely continue to do so.