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From Challenger to Champion

How foundational research informed

How foundational

research informed

brand positioning that made a $4 billion

brand positioning that

made a $4 billion

Cox Automotive’s acquisition is worth every penny.

Cox Automotive’s

acquisition is worth

every penny.

The backstory

To rebrand or not to rebrand? That was the question Cox Automotive asked FARM after acquiring Dealertrack, a leading provider of SaaS-based products for automotive dealers and lenders. 

While their legacy product, Dealertrack F&I had more than 30,000 customers, Dealertrack DMS (Dealer Management System) had only 3,000 users and was considered a challenger brand, up against two industry goliaths. 

Cox Automotive purchased the company because of the strategic importance of having a dealer management system in its portfolio. But was Dealertrack the right brand under which to grow the DMS business, or should they develop a new one? Then, how should their DMS be positioned to aggressively take market share from its competitors over the next five years? 

Having just spent $4 billion to acquire the company, Cox Automotive couldn’t foul this up. And neither could we. 

Agency services:

  • Branding research
  • Strategic Marcom planning
  • Competitive analysis and insights
  • Voice and identity development
  • Brand evolution strategy and execution

Agency services:

  • Branding research
  • Strategic Marcom planning
  • Competitive analysis and insights
  • Voice and identity development
  • Brand evolution strategy and execution
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The research

Having our own in-house research and business intelligence team made it easy to conduct internal and external interviews, national focus groups, and a quantitative research study to inform the best path forward. And we learned that the Dealertrack name had strong brand equity and market positioning that Cox shouldn’t abandon. So, calling the product Dealertrack DMS made the most sense, leveraging the power of the Dealertrack name to ignite product sales. 

Addressing multiple audiences

Addressing multiple

audiences

Based on the product attributes that appealed to both dealership and financial lender audiences, we developed three positioning themes and statements for the client and a panel of prospective users to evaluate. 

Anchored by the theme of “Confidence” and the new tag line “Technology That Drives You,” we created an advertising campaign, event marketing communications, and a “hype” video to launch the new Dealertrack DMS brand identity and positioning. 

So, how'd we do?

Dealertack beat their sales goal

Dealertack beat their

sales goal by 344%,

by 344%, shattering the performance of their

shattering the

performance of their

DMS product at previous shows.

DMS product at

previous shows.

Dealertrack DMS was unveiled at the National Automobile Dealers Association Expo (NADA)—an annual convention that serves as the industry’s biggest stage for companies to showcase their latest technology and sell their products. 

Fueled by the new positioning and an enthusiastic sales staff, Dealertrack beat their sales goal by 344%, shattering the performance of their DMS product at previous shows. 

Since then, Dealertrack DMS has more than doubled its growth, compelling dealers and lenders to defect from competitive offerings. And nobody calls them a “challenger” brand anymore. 

Imagine the playground torments and

Imagine the playground

torments and missed

missed high-school dances our data

high-school dances our

data scientists had to

scientists had to endure–all

endure–all so you can

be the big cheese at

so you can be the big cheese at the

the reunion. Now can

we have our

reunion. Now can we have our 

lunch money back?

  • Awareness, attitudes, and usage research
  • Market segmentation
  • Competitive analysis and insights
  • Branding research
  • Product, pricing, and user experience research
  • Concept testing
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty measurement

Your brand is your company’s most

Your brand is your

company’s most valuable

valuable asset. And when you invest

asset. And when you

invest inconsistency as

in consistency as much as identity,

much as identity,

your returns will prove

immeasurable.

  • Voice and identity development
  • Brand positioning
  • Internal/external launch communications
  • Brand evolution strategy and execution

Our Take

Nobody likes to hear people squawk about marketing. So, we wrote it all down for you.

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