Customer loyalty may be a thing of the past, The New York Times reports
That's 20 percent. That number does not speak well for brand loyalty.
As the article mentions, the data -- compiled by CNW Marketing Research in Oregon -- suggests that modern car buyers are, thanks to the Internet, far more well-informed and savvy and that widespread innovations among all the carmakers have eroded the sort of inherent trust in a brand that created "GM families" and "Ford families" who bought from the same automaker for generations.
Of course, diminished loyalty isn't solely the result of nearly every vehicle having anti-lock brakes and side airbags. Part of the problem, too, is dilution. With the incredible success that Japanese and now South Korean carmakers have had in the past two decades, there are simply way more viable options than there were 20 years ago. Not to mention the fact that the traditional route of manufacturer advertising -- a vague but catchy slogan -- simply doesn't translate to consumers who buy mostly based on taste. The same catch phrase that makes a pickup truck seem macho and utilitarian probably doesn't make you want to buy a hatchback from the same company, and when each market segment is differentiated to that extent (think "Built Ford Tough"), buyers simply have a hard time seeing each product in a fleet as part of a larger, overarching brand.
What do you think? Are you a brand loyalist? Does the concept exist in any real sense anymore?
EXPLORE NEW CARS
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
ABOUT EXHAUST NOTES
Cars are cool, and here at MSN Autos we love everything about them, but we also know they're more than simply speed and style: a car is an essential tool, a much-needed accessory to help you get through your day-to-day life. What you drive is also one of the most important investments you can make, so we'll help you navigate your way through the car buying and ownership experiences. We strive to be your daily destination for news, notes, tips and tricks from across the automotive world. So whether it's through original content from our world-class journalists or the latest buzz from the far corners of the Web, Exhaust Notes helps you make sense of your automotive world.
Have a story idea? Tip us off at email@example.com.