Oil Brand Preference

Elizabeth Mertz  |  Director of Client Services

October 20, 2016

Does It Influence Where Customers Go for Service?

Executive Summary

The landscape of companies that provide oil changes is crowded, comprising everyone from car dealers to quick lube providers to the corner auto mechanic. However, according to IBISWorld’s April 2016 report, “Auto Mechanics in the US,” no company has a dominant market share in this industry. In fact, no single brand controls more than 10% of the market.

It’s no surprise, then, that oil change providers are eager to differentiate themselves through an improved customer experience. But does it go beyond that? Could the type of oil or brand that was offered influence customers to choose one provider over another?

With so many oil brands available, Catalyst sought to understand what influence these brands had on a customer’s decision to select a quick lube or full-service automotive services provider. Should providers consider offering a particular brand of oil? Would this be a means of differentiating the brand, and if so, was there a brand of oil that stood out?

We asked customers why they chose an oil brand and how committed they were to using it. Was this the reason they chose a particular location to have their vehicle serviced, and if so, were they committed enough to the product to seek out a different location if their current provider no longer offered it?

Key Findings

  1. Our research clearly demonstrated that, to customers, oil is oil
  2. Although some customers had a brand preference, this was not a factor in choosing a location, and it would not cause them to switch providers
  3. Convenience of the service center’s location, coupled with trust between them and their “car guy,” was always more important
  4. The reputation of selected locations was important, as was the mechanic’s recommendations
  5. Participants were more interested in knowing that various oil types were available, such as synthetic, high-mileage, etc. Some were interested in “green options”

To view the full research report, click below. And for more information, contact Mike Osborn: 585.453.8331 or email: mosborn@catalystinc.com.


Download the PDF

Elizabeth Mertz |  Director of Client Services
Liz’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, account development, campaign analysis, campaign management, and franchise marketing. In addition to leading high-volume accounts at Catalyst, she’s held management positions at Vertis and Draft Worldwide.

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