By Dan Monheit, originally shared on Carsales.com.au 15.02.21
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.
When it comes to first impressions, cars play a critical role in telling the world exactly who we are. ‘Why?’ I hear you ask.
Cue the Halo Effect, our tendency to take a single positive characteristic of a person, product or brand and extend that to our impression of their entire being. We see this weaved into our lives constantly. For example, when meeting a new person who’s joining our team at work, we may conclude that them being well dressed also means they’re likely to be good at their job. While we know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, inherently, that is exactly what we do.
This has always been one of the underlying reasons why we feel our cars say so much about who we are. What we drive as we pull up to an important meeting, a first date or a high-school reunion is an immediate indicator to others of our lifestyles, our priorities and our status.
It should come as no surprise then, that the car brands that have invested heavily in telling Australians what it is they stand for have seen significant lifts in demand.
Over the last 12 months, Kia has doubled down on a range of slick new ads that tell Aussies just what type of person buys a Kia; A person who’s into fashion, music and youth culture.
Clearly, this has struck a chord with many, leading to a 44% increase in views and a 44% increase in enquiries for new and demo Kia cars on carsales.com in the last 12 months.¹
We see a similar trend with the more distinctive, easily recognisable electric vehicles, which have experienced a 16.2% lift in sales in 2020, compared to the average for all vehicles of -13.7%. Saving the planet is great. Letting everyone else know you’re doing so appears to be even greater.
As we re-emerge en masse after 12 months of deprivation and social isolation, Aussies have never been more open to updating their image. The Halo Effect means that the carmakers who are also statement-makers will continue to be in high demand.
Source: carsales internal data, July-Dec 2020 vs July-Dec 2019