With the pandemic, various delays, and waiting lists, it’s a little hard to imagine what a “normal” dealership experience might be like for customers of the Ford Bronco and Bronco Sport. Automotive News reports that these SUVs’ buyers might be in for a different sort of consumer experience once the pandemic passes. Ford dealers are already working to set the Bronco siblings apart, literally, from other Ford models with standalone retail stores. And Ford itself is keen on the idea, generating renderings at dealers’ request.
The aesthetic can best be described as “outdoor clothing retailer”. This is certainly no accident, and the spaces appear to include raw-looking materials such as wood and concrete. According to a statement provided to AN from Ford, the company wants to focus on the vehicle and not the infrastructure, As such, the standalone Bronco store is not a mandate and dealers can incorporate it into their current showrooms or buildings. That said, according to the report, dealers that build out these Bronco stores could get even more Broncos to sell.
This squares well with Ford’s existing branding strategy, as exemplified by the vehicle itself. In the case of both the Bronco and Bronco Sport, Ford fits the SUV’s front ends with the word “BRONCO” in big, bold letters. Ford badging, meanwhile, is relegated to the rear. The association between Ford and Bronco is implicit, in one sense, so there’s little risk of confusion for a vehicle with such an ingrained history and iconic status among enthusiasts. The Mustang, now a family of vehicles including the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, is Ford’s other experiment in branding … and there are reportedly more sub-brands from Ford coming.
Luckily for Bronco, the Bronco Sport is closer to its big sibling’s core identity than the Mustang Mach-E is to the run-of-the-mill Mustang. Will standalone Bronco stores help cement the connection between the big Bronco, the smaller Bronco Sport, and future variants such as the upcoming Bronco pickup? It certainly can’t hurt.
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