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SUN AUTO GROUP: CASE STUDY

 
 
 

Within three months of Congruent taking over Sun Auto’s strategy and branding:

cost-per-car sold dropped 36%

 

 
 
 
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Congruent is the agency of record for Sun Auto, the largest used car dealer in Central New York.


Recently, Sun transitioned their business from traditional used car sales to a one price model. We took point on an extensive rebrand campaign during this decisive period in their business. From reworking their existing brand marks to reinventing their video and commercial tv strategy, we overhauled Sun’s image and perception in the market. In the process, we upped their engagement on social media and drastically reduced the cost per car sold.

 
 
 
 

What actually goes into a rebrand?


When you say, “rebrand” many people think of a new logo or app icon. A new logo, while fun, is a pretty easy undertaking. What isn’t easy is thinking through everything associated with that logo. New design directions, new signage, new print pieces, a new website, and so much more.

Our creative team took the time to create a style guide to govern the creation of each piece with thought and intentionality. Congruent created a rock-solid blueprint so that every digital and print piece going forward was in perfect alignment with the Sun Auto brand.

 
 
 
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Simple. Upfront. Nice.


Congruent redefined Sun Auto’s brand image with these three basic words.

We met with the client and brainstormed internally to find the perfect brand tagline to encapsulate the Sun experience. Sun wanted to communicate their new shift to transparent pricing and their legacy of community service and honest business.

With Simple. Upfront. Nice. we were able to capture those ideas and also retrofit it into their existing brand identity as an acronym for Sun.
Telling the narratives that underpin it is a major component of building out any brand. To bring Sun’s new mission statement to life, we told the stories of the Caputo family, the Sun team, and actual Syracuse car buyers in cinematic brand anchor films.

 
 
 
 

An infomercial worth watching


Sun Auto has been producing infomercials for many years. They’ve essentially become a staple on local TV. Congruent applied a more creative approach to the production with a bigger emphasis on brand building, getting significantly more value out of the media spend.

Through a robust media strategy, the infomercial ran on YouTube to targeted audiences with a staggering 65% view rate compared to the industry benchmark of 25%.

Our creative team took the time to create a style guide to govern the creation of each piece with thought and intentionality. Congruent created a rock-solid blueprint so that every digital and print piece going forward was in perfect alignment with the Sun Auto brand.

 
 
 
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Social media worth sharing


Prior to working with Congruent, Sun Auto had little strategy to their social media. Along with reorienting their brand, we also gave their social media direction.

By constantly engineering new creative, posting, and testing, Congruent was able to dramatically lower the costs for acquiring traffic while simultaneously boosting high-quality traffic from social media and paid media via social.

As an integrated, brand-first agency, we could use social to bolster their branding and vice versa. This process created a virtuous circle of marketing to the top of the funnel and the bottom of the funnel — a strategy that virtually every automotive dealer group ignores. This kept Sun Auto top-of-mind for prospective customers before they even knew they were prospective customers and helped Sun’s conquests on a monthly basis.

 
 
 
 

Marketing like a B2C company


At the end of August in 2017, Facebook removed all third-party data from their ad targeting options. It used to be the most lucrative place a dealership could position their inventory. Buyers were broken out into segments based on the makes and models they were researching, bodystyles, income brackets, and so much more. But their NEED for this bottom of the funnel audience was symptomatic of the bigger issue.

Dealers are focused on fighting for the lowest hanging fruit. When focused on bottom of the funnel activity and advertising low prices to bring customers in the door, no one wins in the long-run.

Congruent’s marketing approach focused on identifying buyers before they knew they were buyers. Serving them paid media in formats they were used to consuming. As simple as it may sound, when we stopped marketing like a dealership and started marketing like a B2C company, we spent significantly less money to sell the same amount of cars.

 
 
 
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