The Keys to the Car Buying Experience

The experience of buying a vehicle is a great example of a decision where you have to weigh up multiple factors at the same time. The two factors that people assume drive decisions are the practical factors like the budget or usage and the extra “nice to have” features. But there’s another group of factors that people consider, even if they don’t always realize. These factors surround how owning the vehicle will make them feel.

“How a vehicle makes you feel” is not just important to enthusiasts.  If it were, every family would buy a minivan and every 9-to-5 commuter would have an econo-box

The minivan story illustrates this well. A minivan was designed in the 1980’s to be a great practical choice for families with children.  They offer space, convenience, and all a family with 2 or more children would need. At first, they were all the rage.  But, as time went on, minivan owners became seen as people who sacrificed “fun” and “performance” for “utility”.  This stigma opened the door for SUVs and Crossovers to come in.

A quote from this article in the Nikkei Asian Review illustrates the SUV promise:  “We designed a model that makes you not only want to go for a drive with family and friends, but also alone.”

The fact is that “thinking from the heart” seems to count almost as much (and sometimes more) than “thinking with the mind”, even in significant purchase decisions. Why then, should these factors be relegated to the back of the mind, or the bottom of the priority list in design decisions?

In our research we see the overall brand experience as an integral part of the model. Utility and usability lie at the core of the experience, while desirability and brand experience lay on top, to create the overall model.

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The next question, of course, is how companies can uncover these “back of the mind” or “thinking from the heart” factors. How can you predict these factors, and how can you find out how they stack up against traditional factors that we already know about?

Lextant has created Experience Metrics to answer this question. It helps create a holistic picture of a product, from utility and usability, right up to the brand experience. Not only does it show you the factors affecting the usability of the product, but it also shows the “emotional” factors that are tied to the product and lets you track how their relative importance changes over time.

Manufacturers get a clear picture of how their designs stack up against all the factors that drive decisions.  The results are proving powerful.

To find out more about more about how metrics can help transform the user experience, click on the link below.

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