AutoNation Achieves New Rebrand Strategy With Yext
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AutoNation is the largest pure-play automotive retailer in the United States. The Fortune 500 company has been selling and servicing cars across America since 1996, and the brand’s widespread presence only continues to expand.
“We are in the business of retailing vehicles, selling parts, and selling services to consumers in local communities,” states Famous Rhodes, Vice President of Digital Marketing and Customer Experience. “We are the largest automotive retailer in the U.S., with about 300 different stores and 370-plus new car vehicle franchises.”
Rhodes knows that having correct, consistent, and verified answers about the brand is integral to AutoNation’s success. “The shift in consumers starting their customer journey in search engines, and starting on social, continues to climb. What we see happening with consumers more and more often, is they’re starting on mobile devices to actually connect to, and find, those things that they’re looking for. Many of our consumers are connecting on Google to find our stores — to call or get directions before they come to the store. Or you find them starting on Google to look at the types of vehicles, or inventory, that we have in our stores.”
Yext enables brands like AutoNation to manage the facts about their brand from a single source of truth across their websites, mobile apps, internal systems, and the entire Knowledge Network — the industry’s largest ecosystem of maps, apps, search engines, GPS systems, and social networks including Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, and Yahoo.
Yext was particularly useful during a major company rebrand. “We went all across the country rebranding all of our stores to AutoNation, and through that rebrand process we recognized how challenging it is to manage our profiles on Google, Facebook, and other social media outlets,” Rhodes explains.
AutoNation now publishes many more brand verified answers – at current count, they have more than 39,000 verified listings that are powered through Yext.
“Yext was instrumental in helping AutoNation achieve a new rebrand strategy,” says Molly Blanco, Manager for Digital Advertising for AutoNation. “We were introducing the AutoNation brand to all of our domestic retail locations,” she says. “So in order to do that, we needed a seamless interface that allowed us to manage everything from a central location. Without Yext, I don’t know how we would have been able to handle that on our own.”
“That rebrand effort took us about six months to complete," says Brian Free, Director of Digital Ecommerce. “Without folks like Yext, that probably would have taken us two years to do.”