Do consumers really care if their vehicle is equipped with a Bose speaker, Michelin tires or Bosch antilock brakes? Does knowing the brand name of equipment affect purchase decisions?
A survey conducted last May suggests car owners enjoy choosing a vehicle with brand-name components, much like they would a designer outfit. The survey, by CSM Worldwide of Northville, Mich., and Planning Edge of Farmington, Mich., indicates consumers care about safety and interior components they can see or touch.
The survey included the opinions of 686 new-car buyers, half men and half women. The participants were asked about 12 product categories.
'It's definitely the most definitive study on supplier branding,' said Jim Nader, market assessment manager at CSM Worldwide. The study gauged both consumer preference in supplier branding and OEM acceptance of branding. 'It gives suppliers a strategic road map to see in which areas consumers are willing to pay more for branded products and whether OEMs support it,' Nader said.
'OEMs are interested in the concept of branding; they like the idea of being able to offer a vehicle that means more to consumers and has perceived value for them,' Nader added.
The most recognized and preferred supplier brands mentioned by study participants were: Bose, Michelin, Motorola and DuPont.