Why carsales leant into trust in its new brand positioning

The car trading platform found what it needed internally to develop its new mantra in a long-term project to extend its brand positioning

Online auto trading platform, carsales, has launched its new brand platform with the tagline ‘Everything You Auto Know’, leaning into its role as a trusted place for car sales and extending that into deeper vehicle buying, comparison and valuation advice.

“We’ve been innovating and stretching beyond just being a car classifieds site to provide a far richer experience but up until now we haven’t been able to communicate that,” carsales CMO, Kellie Cordner, told CMO. “It's about how we can help people as consumers to deal with what is an innate problem: With such a big ticket item like a car, how do you get the best advice and information without spending all of your time studying cards?"

For carsales, it’s been a process of branding from the inside out to take all of the internal knowledge and expertise and share it and promote it externally so it’s available to consumers when making this significant decision and investment that is buying a car.

“It’s using all of the information and knowledge we have in the business to power people throughout their car buying, selling and owning journey,” Cordner said.

carsales partnered with BMF to bring its knowledge and passion for the automotive category to life with a creative flare set to resonate with all Australians. The ambition is to start to shift the reputation of Australia’s most trusted place to buy and sell to be the go-to for everything cars.

As part of the campaign, carsales has created a ‘manifesto’ to highlights its brand positioning as 'Everything You Auto Know'. It was important to protect but also extend the brand’s strong reputation from car sales into car advice.

"We've got this really strong solid reputation as a classified business, but we’re moving beyond that and we needed something that would hold us together and extend us into these additional services and features,” Cordner said. “Why wouldn’t we lean into this trusted brand to offer these services.”

While the campaign started with a TV commercial to introduce the new brand manifesto, it will have a much longer run than a TVC’s standard shelf life. New lines and new proof points are all in train to support the new brand proposition.

“We see this as a long-term position and reputation shift and there’s a multitude of elements that will start to roll out,” Cordner said.

Being the go-to destination for all things related to buying and selling a car is the longer-term vision. Yet this isn’t so much a play for market share from competitors, it’s more about taking what’s on the platform and within the businesses’ own knowledge base share externalise and promoting that to make it available and useful for customers.

“It’s about bringing awareness to a lot of functions and features,” Cordner said. “You don’t need your spreadsheet or your note book when looking to buy anymore. We’ve automated a lot of those things for you.”

The brief to BMF was not a campaign, but instead a long-term platform change. “We set the centre of gravity around helping all Australians have a positive experience with a buying and selling. It was the word ‘positive’ and ‘all’ that was inclusive and that led us to that brand promise of 'everything you auto to know',” Cordner sai.

“Then we were intent on talking to the emotion and the why of using the car sales marketplace because it’s efficient and it’s about how it makes you feel. We were given the courage to create emotional ads.

“It is a departure for our brand because wanted to change the category vernacular away from having the most car listings to having this depth of content and something that our competitors don’t have.”

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