Everyone loves walking into a car that looks and smells nice. Whether it’s their own car, a friend’s, or an Uber, there is something comforting about riding across town in a clean vehicle. That’s one of the reasons auto detailing is a $371 billion industry. It’s also why the sector is expected to grow by 9.1% over the next 10 years.
This is great news for business owners and entrepreneurs currently running or thinking about starting an auto detailing company. However, the downside is the increased competition. For a business to succeed in this sector, it needs to have a clear understanding of which customers to target.
Whether you’re an established business looking to refine your audience approach or a newbie trying to carve a niche, this article will provide valuable insights into the clients that may be most attracted to your services.
Understand Target Markets for an Auto Detailing Business
The term ‘target market‘ refers to the people most likely to purchase your services. While it is easy to think that the target market for an auto detailing business is just anyone who needs their car cleaned, it is a little more complex than that.
To truly understand your market, you need to understand who they are and what is important to them. You’ll need to conduct some research to identify several things:
- Demographic Information: This could be things like age, gender, income level, or ethnicity.
- Geographic Information: Where does your audience live or where are they located?
- Psychographic Information: This information is related to lifestyle, values, personality traits, and hobbies
- Behavioral Information: What behaviors does this market exhibit? What are their spending habits? These are all behavioral information needed to understand your target market.
- Needs and Preferences: Your target market has expectations and pain points. How do you plan to solve their problems and meet their expectations?
When a company grasps an understanding of its target market, it’s positioned to directly address their demands. This raises the chances of product success. In markets with many competitors, a narrowed target audience can provide a company with a distinctive edge. By catering explicitly to a target market, companies often find that they meet customer needs with greater accuracy. The results are heightened satisfaction and, of course, increased sales.
Luxury Car Owners
Luxury car owners represent an elite segment of automobile enthusiasts. They are usually deeply invested in the aesthetic and functional upkeep of their cars. These individuals often see their vehicles as more than just a mode of transportation; they are symbols of status, success, and personal identity.
Because of the significant financial investment they’ve made in acquiring these cars, maintaining the car is very important. This is where auto detailing businesses can really help. If your business can provide meticulous attention to detail, you’ll be able to attract these kinds of clients.
Beyond just the aesthetics, a well-maintained vehicle also commands a better resale value. So, many luxury car owners see regular detailing as a long-term financial strategy.
Your auto detailing business should emphasize its ability to cater to luxury vehicles. Try to offer bespoke services tailored to individual brands or models. Be sure to employ the highest quality cleaning products. Also, demonstrate that you’re an expert in treating luxury materials like genuine leather interiors or custom paint jobs.
Car Enthusiasts & Collectors
For car enthusiasts and collectors, their vehicles are their assets and their passion projects. Because this market cares so much about cars and their preservation, a detailing business that caters to them is valuable.
The detailing needs for these cars can be quite specific. Some jobs might require the restoration of original features or gently handling vintage parts. This is because interior detailing on classic cars is a delicate process because of how fragile some of the materials are.
To target this market, an auto detailing service should focus on cleaning, shining, and restoration. Car Enthusiasts and collectors are usually a part of a community. These owners often engage in car shows, enthusiast meets, or club gatherings. This means that word-of-mouth is especially potent in this community. A detailing business that excels at the work they’ve been hired for will most likely generate a string of referrals from other owners.
Companies that manage fleets of vehicles have to ensure the functionality of their fleet while maintaining the brand’s image. These vehicles, whether they are sleek sedans for executives or robust vans for deliveries, are on the road regularly, accumulating dust, grime, and the general wear and tear of frequent use. Regular detailing becomes a necessity. And not just for looks, but also for prolonging the vehicle’s lifespan.
However, landing fleet clients is not that easy. You should start by offering packages tailored to fleet services. Since fleets are on the road much of the time, create convenient scheduling options that work around the fleet’s schedule, not yours. You can even set up long-term maintenance contracts that can make it easier for companies to choose regular detailing.
Rideshare & Taxi Drivers
Platforms like Uber and Lyft have transformed personal cars into professional assets. Since rideshare drivers are rated after every passenger they drop off, maintaining the cleanliness and overall appeal of their vehicle can directly impact their earnings. A clean, well-maintained car can lead to better ratings from passengers. Those ratings can affect the volume of ride requests and the possibility of garnering higher tips. The same thing is true for taxi drivers.
An auto detailing business should take advantage of the need of these drivers to keep their cars clean and presentable. The challenge is that these cars are always on the go.
An auto detailing business needs to understand the unique challenges and needs of this market. Given the frequency with which these vehicles are used, a monthly maintenance plan may be the unique selling point needed. The other thing this market would value is quick turnaround services. Keep in mind that the longer these cars are off the road, the more potential income the driver loses.
By aligning their services with the needs of rideshare and taxi drivers, auto detailing businesses can fill the gap in this niche market.
New Car Owners
When people first purchase a car, there’s a desire to keep the car looking as new as possible. Usually, even minor dirt or a small stain doesn’t go unnoticed. This heightened sensitivity to the vehicle’s condition makes new car owners a prime audience for auto detailing services.
To appeal to this market, emphasize the benefits of protection and the preservation of that ‘new car’ feel. Detailing businesses should market the benefits of longevity more than restoration. Also, when providing interior detailing, try to use fragrances that remind the customer of when they first drove the car off of the lot.
The new car euphoria usually lasts around 6 months for many people. During this time, new car owners like to pamper their vehicles. As a detailing business, do what you can to extend the ‘new car’ feel.
Launching any business can come with specific customer acquisition challenges. No matter what business you operate, attracting clients should be one of your main priorities. However, once you understand your target audience, finding those customers becomes easier. The next step is to do all you can to please and meet those customers’ expectations. If you do, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.