Today I received a promotional email from a car rental company I used earlier this summer. The email did not earn my long attention.
However, it reminded me of a thought that has been popping up my mind every time I rent a car.
My question is: “Is there a way to re-design a car rental business model and drive car brand sales (or significantly increase a brand preference) while customers are renting a particular car brand?”
Here is a thing.
How many car brands can you name confidently top of mind? May be up to five, probably no more, unless you are really a car geek. Sure, a list is getting a little longer when you have more time for a thought. You will have your favourite brands, neither nor brands and those with your biases that will not place them on your shopping list that easily.
Over the last two-three years I have encountered that principally all cars I’ve rented have been on my neither nor or bias list of car brands. Sure, you switch on your prejudices already during a booking process. You choose a car based on a size, which is reflected into a price, and then look a possible choice of cars, but usually a list is fairly limited. Generally speaking, an offer among companies is very homogenous. You don’t bother too much unless a proposal is a real disaster and then look for an alternative.
These rentals are actually a comprehensive and personal test drive. And most likely it’s happening at a period of holidays when the time is all yours. Suddenly you experience a car brand that have not considered before or have seen with a fixed perception. I must say that some of the brands have pleasantly surprised. (Sure, there’ve been cases where a car brand and I didn’t have chemistry.) Those few days you spend with a car can make an influential change the way you will see the brand in the future.
If a positive driving experience of a rented car can unlock a potential for a brand of further mutual relationships, why there are no brands that build up a seamless experience that links car rentals to a total brand experience (that eventually leads to sales)?
Imagine this. A new model that revamps existing purely transactional car rental business into brand’s driving experience, operates in selected places and environments where a brand soul can be expressed at its fullest, learn experience insights from people and earn their passion to connect when appropriate also later where ever they may be or live.
If so, probably today I would not receive another direct email with a low added value, but would be invited, for example, to an opening of a new urban slow-wear fashion event that is happening next week in my city and happened to be sponsored by a brand I drove just a while ago.