No matter what industry you are a part of, you are not exempt from consumer trends—or a general responsibility to showcase your business’ brand in the digital and traditional world. This is even more crucial when it comes to the artwork and design that your business uses to represent your brand.  The automotive industry is fiercely competitive, so standing out amongst the competition through visual representation and messaging about what makes your dealership unique is the first step to grabbing the attention of your ideal consumer.

We all know that poor branding can have a massive impact on your business, from marketing misfires to advertising gaffes and all-around PR nightmares. Avoid a marketing headache with these five simple steps that will help you increase the quality of the graphics and ads your dealership uses to attract business and build brand awareness (in a good way) online.

  1. Know your message before you start.

When we create something for our business or passion project, it is easy to get excited about the task ahead and not lay down the groundwork to ensure success.  Sit down with your marketing and sales teams and discuss what needs to happen to hit the goals set for your dealership that month. Maybe you are a Jeep dealership and the newest Wrangler is getting ready to hit the lot – you want to make sure that your website, social, print, and television ads simultaneously reflect the message that this new model will be available.  All of these advertising platforms should reflect the availability of this new product.

  1. Get the attention of your future customer and keep it.

We are constantly hearing that the human attention span is decreasing. Three studies by Carleton University in Ottawa determined that the average web user “assesses the appeal” of your site or ads in about 50 milliseconds. According to many previous studies on image recognition and visual processing, that’s exactly the amount of time it takes the average brain to “see” the image of something from the light that enters the human eye. Your branding isn’t only being judged by its cover; the entire look and message must be understood by the time the consumer’s eyes hit the byline.

It’s not as simple as “standing out”—plenty of poorly executed advertising grabs our attention online on a daily basis.  You don’t want to grab attention for the wrong reason and leave the user scrolling on with a bad first impression of your dealership. Make sure you present your inventory and specials in a way that tells a new customer exactly what your business is – an organized, competent, and modern dealership.

  1. Empower your designer with the assets that represent your brand.

Make sure that you are relaying your dealership’s message by equipping your designer or agency with all of the digital assets that make up your dealership’s brand, including logos, company/brand colors, stock images, and other collateral. Keeping an electronic file of these assets on platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive make it easy to share these items with your designer by simply clicking ‘share’.

  1. Make sure the artwork is consistent.

Once a message is established and the assets are shared with your designer or agency, make sure that you are keeping the artwork consistent.  When a consumer sees your ad on Facebook and then travels to your website to browse the landing page for the Jeep that we mentioned before, they need to see similar banner designs and images to reinforce the message they just saw on Facebook.  Consistency in your artwork helps the consumer build trust in your dealership. You are an expert in your market and the consumer will know that by seeing a cohesive brand throughout all of your advertising channels.

  1. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

Keep in constant communication with your designer or agency throughout the design process and test what is working and what is not. Did the banner ad with a smaller typeface get more link clicks than the banner ad with a larger typeface? Did the Facebook ad showing a family getting into a Jeep have stronger engagement than a Jeep sitting on a mountaintop? Take a look at what works and communicate that to your designer so that they can implement this into your next campaign.


Crafting your dealership’s brand takes time and patience, but you can be successful when you start with a clear message and capture your customer through well-thought-out artwork.

At Dealer Authority, we offer our clients the opportunity to build a consistent brand message through our Octane marketing strategy. When a client takes advantage of Octane, our seasoned SEO and Social Media Strategists will assess the branding that you are already implementing in your daily marketing campaigns and will carry that strategy throughout your social media marketing and landing pages. We utilize our expertise to reinforce your dealership’s message and branding on the digital stage. Learn more today!