How to unlock the power of purpose and drive your dealership forward

Purpose is the dealership's foundational framework on which it builds its company culture, goals, mission, and values.

The bar to becoming a successful automotive group is extremely high.

Worth $2.86 trillion in 2021, the automotive industry is indubitably one of the most successful industries today. It is filled with hundreds of companies looking to dominate the industry by leveraging digitization, access to new technologies, and more sustainable policies to satiate the ever-changing customer preferences and trends. 

When it comes to effectively remaining relevant in the automotive industry, purpose-driven dealerships are positioned to win in the long run. 

A company’s purpose is its core and identity. It is the unique reason it chooses to operate and the foundational framework on which it builds its culture, goals, mission, and values. It is its essence and the ‘why’ of its establishment.

Putting it simply, a powerful purpose differentiates a company from its competitors, shaping a brand to be more customer-centric so it has more to offer than the average dealership.

According to a Deloitte Research survey, 55% of respondents believe businesses need to be more purpose-driven or risk being one-upped by those who are. Companies that prioritize purpose provide authenticity in an otherwise crowded industry and are thereby deemed more valuable than their counterparts.

In a rapidly-growing industry full of evolving trends, a purpose-driven dealer group is led beyond the need to provide high-quality products, low prices, green manufacturing, or innovative designs. These companies optimize their purpose as the base to drive positive change and differentiate themselves in the market. They do this by aligning their purpose with their business practices, ensuring it touches all areas of their business including marketing campaigns, customer relations, and even how employees are treated.

It is therefore no surprise that purpose-driven brands are more successful than their counterparts, enjoying higher market share gains and lasting customer loyalty. With a constant purpose that encourages innovation and helps them navigate the shifts and changes throughout the industry, purpose-driven companies enjoy more productivity and higher growth rates.

While many advantages of purpose-driven companies may be customer-centric, an equal number of advantages are geared toward the companies’ internal structure. For one, purpose-oriented dealerships enjoy better employee engagement and relationships that create a positive work culture.

Purpose not only makes it easier to recruit talents in the competitive automotive ecosystem, but it also provides a sense of meaning that connects and aligns these employees to the company’s value. By having a sense of purpose that guides every action taken within the establishment, employees enjoy a more organized and positive work environment that fosters creativity, motivation, engagement, retention, production, and overall job satisfaction.

Additionally, the automotive industry is in a zeitgeist where customers demand a more personalized experience and connection with the dealerships they patron. Having a powerful purpose that resonates with their innate values helps companies create a strong emotional connection and relationship with consumers who believe in and aim to be associated with those same values. This conceives a long-term relationship with customers, fostering loyalty, advocacy, and repeat business.

For dealerships, manufacturers, and auto retailers, purpose is a critical tool that creates differentiation in a highly-competitive industry. It provides a framework that guides every interaction within and outside the organization while also helping them stand out in an otherwise permeated industry. 

Many dealerships in the industry are awakening to the rising need for a working purpose and are discovering ways to implement purpose into the core of their organization. Incorporating purpose in a company’s structure takes several directions, including:

  • Identifying the type of purpose to apply in the organization
  • Cultivating a company culture that inculcates the business values and core principles
  • Investing in a workforce that mirrors the dealership’s values
  • Promoting a shared vision
  • Sharing the company’s purpose with shareholders and customers by sharing impactful stories that communicate the business’s vision
  • Placing the purpose at the core of the company.

While creating purpose is important, it is vital to articulate and align the dealership’s purpose with every facet of the business’s structure. This means ensuring the purpose matches core values, mission statements, and customer experiences. This creates a cohesive identity that propagates growth and makes it easier to make an impact in the industry.

The need for a sense of purpose in dealerships cannot be overemphasized. Without this purpose, it will be near impossible to drive innovation, shape sustainable mobility solutions, meet the ever-changing needs of customers and society, and thrive in the dynamic industry. 

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Joseph Iyanu
Joseph Iyanu
Joseph is a contributing writer and reporter for CBT News. He has over five years of experience holding various different positions in both independent and franchised car dealerships. Joseph is a dedicated advocate for the automotive industry and offers readers a unique blend of insider knowledge and the latest industry trends. Join Joseph as he explores the ever-evolving world of auto dealerships, shedding light on best practices across all departments, from sales and finance to service and parts.

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