“We’ll buy your car even if you don’t buy ours.”

That’s what CarMax’s acronym WBYCEIYDBO stands for. And what it represents speaks volumes for their brand.

It tells me that the company is flexible and easily approachable. They’re friendly and easy to use. And for anyone who’s ever stepped foot in a regular car dealership, this sounds too good to be true.

Yet CarMax has done it. They’ve somehow bridged the gap between the experienced car salesman and the first-time car buyer or seller. And they’ve done it through clear brand messaging which focuses on the consumer first – not the service.

Times Have Changed

Twenty years ago, buying a used car was a huge hassle. You’d have to drive to a bunch of car lots, skim through newspaper ads, and sit at the dealership for hours waiting to test drive a car and sign mountains of paperwork.

And while some things are unavoidable (like paperwork), CarMax has since completely re-shaped the auto industry in a lot of ways.

Now I can browse their site for the perfect Dodge Challenger with all the trim, miles, age and features I want. I can put a 7-day hold on my favorite one and have it transferred to a local CarMax location. And I can even ask all my financing questions online before I step foot onto a car lot.

What a time to be alive.

While the process itself is astronomically better, CarMax’s customer first mentality is icing on the cake. It’s why they continue to dominate the industry.

“The CarMax Difference”

How did CarMax become a Fortune 500 company? They state on their website that it’s because of low and transparent prices, friendly customer service, their wide array of vehicles available nationwide, and their WBYCEIYDBO policy.

And for those of us that are familiar with the brand experience, it’s no wonder they’re so successful. No-haggle pricing? Check. No hard selling? Check. No bait-and-switch tactics? Another check.

And the list goes on.

If you decide to sell your vehicle after they inspect and appraise the value, CarMax holds huge auctions for their vehicles.

And while they’ve built the backbone of the company through consumer facing transparency, CarMax has garnered success by eliminating uncertainty at their auctions.

With full disclosures given in writing to all dealers that show up to the auction, their more confident to pay a fair price for these vehicles. Whether it’s a barely used 2018 Mazda CX-5 or a 10-year-old Mustang Shelby GT500, all defects are disclosed if they’re present.

And since CarMax can eliminate these buyers’ uncertainties and get fair prices from them, CarMax can often pay you more for your car than you’d be able to get from another dealer or from Joe Shmoe on Craigslist.

The transparency and full disclosures directly translates into less risk. And less risk means that they can pay more for vehicles and sell them to trusting buyers for a higher price than most dealers can.

A True Game Changer

There’s no doubt that CarMax is continuing to disrupt an industry that was long due for a change. In a world that’s increasingly transitioning to e-commerce, they’ve been able to add value to the customer by tweaking the traditional business model.

It will absolutely be interesting to see where the company goes from here. The CarMax brand, customer experience, and business model are all what auto companies should aspire to take note of.

Brennan Flentge

Brennan Flentge

Since 2010, Brennan has utilized his creative intuition to provide branding and marketing services for friends, family, and clients. From graphic design and web development to advertising and SEO, Brennan has slowly built a powerful skill set and regularly shares his knowledge with others. Read more about all things marketing, entrepreneurship, startups and tech (and maybe a little bit about video games, too) at BrennanFlentge.com

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