We recently changed our family car and it got me thinking about family cars, and how car brands market their family car models to families. (Badly it turns out). So how and why are family car brands failing mums?
We weren’t sure if we would stay with the same brand that we had driven, so we spent some time researching and looking at different options to decide what we would go for next.
Where are family cars on brand websites?
I had a look at lots of different car brand websites recently to research options. Here are a some of the car brand websites I spent time on: Hyundai, Skoda, BMW, Volkswagen, Volvo and Nissan.
On not one website could I easily see where the information about family cars was located. Not one home page presented me with any families with their car pictures. If I am not familiar with a particular model for a particular brand how can I find out which models suit families best?
I eventually found one link on the Volkswagen website that told me that “Whether you are a family of seven, a family of four or you just require a practical vehicle for space, the Volkswagen Family Range will suit your needs perfectly.” It then had 3 car model pictures to click on, none of which took you to any further information about the models and why they would suit a family.
The Nissan website did tell me under their car model pictures that the Pulsar and the X-Trail were family cars. Each respective car page also told me how good they would be for families but without any specifics.
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Why aren’t car brands telling parents what they want to know?
Parents want to know:
- What will it cost and what financing options will suit our family budget?
- How efficient is this car for fuel for my weekly driving needs?
- How safe is it for my children?
- Will the boot fit a buggy folded up and other items?
- Are there cupholders and other gadgets in the back seat to make travelling with kids easier?
- How many seats does it have and can I swap in extra seating if required to carry more kids?
- Is the upholstery easy to clean?
- Is there plenty of storage space?
- Will car seats fit easily into the back and if I need more than 2 or 3 car seats will the fit?
- What tech, if any is included i.e. parking sensors, cameras, wireless charging, kids DVDs etc.
- How easy is it to get the kids in and out of the car?
- Is it easy to park when dropping kids to school, picking up kids from after school classes, etc.?
- What colours does it come in (I don’t want a light colour that takes a lot of car washing!)?
So where is this information? How does a parent find it out?
Here’s what car brands should do
They should add a button or an easy to find menu option for families.
On that page there should be a video telling parents why that brand cares about them and their needs. I’m not talking about a marketing video I’m talking about a video that shows me that they understand what I’m looking for from my family car.
There should be easy checklists of the family-oriented features that are available for different family car models. I should be able to watch a video to see what the inside of the car looks like and how those features work.
I should be able to have a live chat with someone about the family cars.
I should be able to request a test drive of a family car at a convenient time with someone who knows family cars really well.
I should be able to compare this family car model to that family car model really easily to see what the differences are.
I should be able to send that information to myself and my partner really easily.
Are car brands still assuming males decide?
Could it be that car brands still think car buying decisions are made by the male part of the relationship? And that all that partner is interested in is engine size, how the car drives and control?
That’s certainly the bulk of the messaging about the cars that I saw on the websites. I never saw one message aimed at parents or mums. Any females shown with cars were not depicted with kids. How can Mums connect with a brand that doesn’t show me what they could aspire to?
Our recent survey of Mykidstime parents about Family Cars revealed that 64% of them said buying the family car was a joint decision, 23% said Mum made the decision, while 13% said Dad did.
If car brands really want to connect with mums then they need to shed some of those mistaken perceptions and move towards building trust and deep connection with the real decision-makers in the household.
Connecting with mothers through social and digital channels is possible, we do it all the time on Mykidstime. We help brands and businesses to engage with Mums by turning their marketing into useful content and engaging messages that allow Mums to have conversations and build trust. Contact us today to have a chat about how to work with Mykidstime.