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On first looking into a Catalan car

Tim Williams

Which is most important in driving customer trust: the brand, or the experience?

The other day I saw a car parked outside a neighbour’s house with that ‘just out of the showroom’ look.  It was a model I’d never seen before and looked quite sporty, so I wondered who the manufacturer was. Looking at the grille I didn’t recognise the logo, so I searched for a name on the boot and it said ‘CUPRA’ - which left me none the wiser. In the end I had to get out my phone and Google it.

It turns out the name is short for ‘Cup Racing’ - and it’s now a separate brand that used to be part of SEAT.

This got me wondering: if it had sported a SEAT badge how would that have affected the way I perceived it?

Perhaps this story demonstrates one of the important roles branding plays during the early stage of many customer journeys: the sense of reassurance that comes from something as simple as familiarity. We have tendency to be more trusting of brands we’ve heard of - even (especially) if we’ve never had first-hand experience of them.

Which neatly explains the reaction of my mother in the 1970’s when my father brought home a new car - made in Russia.