Dealership Marketing

The Social Currency of Mercedes, BMW and Lexus

In case you don’t read Fast Company, Follow me on Twitter or somehow didn’t stumble across this latest study by Vivaldi Partners on Social Currency be sure to download it here.

Today, one of the most important strengths of a brand is its social currency, the extent to which people share the brand or information about the brand with others as part of their everyday social lives.

Premium Luxury Brands tend to have a higher social currency

Volume Brand vs. Luxury Brands –  Premium make drivers show a much stronger sense of their brand’s community while  volume brand drivers show a lower need to affiliate with others, in return having less social currency.

I personally found it interesting that Mercedes-Benz was high on this list (not really). Having a Mercedes-Benz dealer under my realm, I often hear when speaking about social media “that’s not our customer”. However, according to this study, Mercedes-Benz is high up on the social currency scale.

Luxury show significantly higher social currency levels in general, implying that, with buying a car, drivers seek to not only enter a social peer group but also to grow as an individual by becoming an active member.

Investigating individual brands more closely, it becomes obvious that high social interaction volume can better utilize social currency levers to provide additional selling propositions.

The study also touches on how Toyota’s social currency suffered after recall and that Toyota needs to focus on its brand’s social currency as much as returning to its six-sigma standards in production.

Vivaldi Partners research shows that the use of social media and social networks in managing private lives, careers and personal interests, as well as lives at work is accelerating at a rapid pace.

Marketers must understand how people engage with these new ways of connecting, collaborating, and co-creating. These new ways change the way consumers make choices about brands and businesses.

According to Vivaldi Partners – there are 4 key steps to building, nurturing and managing social currency:

  1. Understand the buyers’ ecosystem
  2. Determine the levers of social currency that drive value in the industry or category
  3. Define your social currency strategy
  4. Develop and execute social currency programs that drives value

Have you thought about managing your dealers Social Currency?

What aspects of Social Currency will you determine creates value for your dealership?

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
Very true! Which is why our Kia, Hyundai, etc brands do not have big followings with their Facebook fan pages, while the luxury brands do. I have been trying to share with this with many other dealers who are convinced they must be heavily involed in social networking - but many times it is the brand you carry that drives how important that is to your customers. Fish where the fish are...
  • D
  • May 25, 2010
I know of Dodge dealerships that crush it on Facebook and Dodge dealerships that don't. The same goes for every other make.

This is one instance where so much of the power to sink or swim is at the local level, right there at the dealership.

Unlike website contracts, any store can get it going with social media or ignore it. The variations between stores of the same make really prove this.
  • R
    Richard Valenta
  • May 25, 2010
Interesting information. You might find that luxury brands out perform volume brands in other industries as well.

I think that the article hits it on the head with the comment "seek to not only enter a social peer group but also to grow as an individual by becoming an active member."

Anyone have any numbers on other luxury brands vs. volume brands?
  • M
  • May 25, 2010
Its good to have reading this useful information about how luxury brands and even others can deliver value to their business.

For brands doing social networking and building social currency helps both the consumer and the dealer to better understand each other and the services.
Creating a hype on Facebook, Twitter and My Space for your company can attract a huge fan following. But the key to increase the traffic is how your brand is looked by the people. With luxury brands ruling the social networking sites it is obvious that people like luxury brands.

It is all about how you promote your product and targeting the right audience.
It seems that there would be increased value placed on the social currency for the luxury brands, as they stand to gain more from programs such as customer retention, service, loyalty buyers, etc.