What’s Brand Love Got to Do With It?


Think all you ever see is BMWs in Beverly Hills and Priuses in Silver Lake? You’re probably right—and don’t expect that to change. The brand you own now contributes strongly to what vehicle you buy in the future, according to data provided by Kelley Blue Book, a car valuation company.

Brand loyalty is understandably important to Detroit, and the auto industry measures it with a brand loyalty rating. Ford, Honda, and Toyota are the companies with the highest loyalty rating, with about half of all of their customers coming back into the fold when they buy new cars.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed Kelley Blue Book loyalty data to find the brands least able to retain their customers. Mitsubishi, Chrysler, and Dodge struggle with loyalty, with all scoring average ratings of less than 25%. Meanwhile, Jaguar and Scion both hover around the same grade.

Factors contributing to brand customer retention are price, reliability, and brand competition within markets (luxury, economy, ‘green car’). However, of these, price is the most significant. A brand may be seen as safe and reliable and yet, if its price-tag is too high, such as with Jaguar, its customers may not be willing to make the same splurge again.

There is a loophole in these customer loyalty averages, however: manufacturers with more than one car brand on the market may benefit from a consumer’s willingness to leave a brand for one with the same manufacturer. For example, a Scion owner may decide to trade in their youthful car when they move from Hollywood to the Valley, and move to a different, but more mature, Toyota brand (we’ll guess a Camry).