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How Can Auto Dealerships Attract More Customers?

April 24, 2023  |  LED Lighting

Dan Rajczyk

By Dan Rajczyk

Business Development Executive

Here's what we'll cover:

Car dealerships have a steeper hill to climb than most when attracting customers off the street and into their showrooms.

Simply put, customers make a lot of decisions based on their first impressions of your dealership’s presentation from the street. And, as you know better than we do, first impressions can make or break the chance at making a sale in no time at all.

Moreover, as customers are passing by your dealership, you don’t have a lot of time to attract them.

This is where your dealership’s location and the architecture itself becomes one of your most effective salespeople for your brand: Through your lighting, your signage, and other visual elements coming together to create a clean, attractive, and consistently well-branded first impression that makes customers look twice and want to give your dealership a shot.

As always, we don’t ever expect you to just take our word for it. We’ll dive into the proven behavioral science and real-life outcomes that show how effective quality LED lighting and illuminated signage can be for your automotive business.

Let’s dive in, learn what actually attracts customers at a behavioral level, and how LED lighting and signage can work together to make your auto dealership attract more customers.

What Actually Attracts Customers to an Auto Dealership?

First, let’s explore some of the key reasons why people are drawn into an auto dealership when they’re driving by. By understanding what visual branding elements actually work, we can better understand how to draw more traffic off the street and into the dealership.

Bright, well-lit spaces and buildings

Human emotion is heavily influenced by the environment, and this goes doubly so for lighting. At a biological level, we associate bright colors and vivid lighting with a wide array of emotions. Greens can calm us, reds can excite, and blues instill trust and security.

Many brands, such as supermarkets, use this to their advantage, making their products and displays more attractive through bright LED lighting that’s saturated with colors that help evoke the emotions they want their customers to experience.

These very same principles apply when using lighting to attract customers to your auto dealership. By using color, design, and brightness to your advantage, your building becomes a 24/7 salesperson beckoning customers to your location.

Signs that make a dealership easy to find and navigate

Signage is one of the most crucial branding and advertising elements of any brick-and-mortar location, especially for dealerships.

But if it’s dirty, illegible, or just plain too busy and hard to understand? People passing by won’t just keep on driving, they’ll be reluctant to place their trust in your brand even if you have a good reputation.

Why? Because customers closely associate the quality and presentation of branded materials with the overall quality of that brand, its products, and its services.

In one of the most extensive signage studies conducted by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, it was found that 76% of consumers have visited a business based on the quality of its signage alone — and 68% stated that they strongly associate a business’s overall quality with the quality of its signs.

This also extends to signage that helps your customers navigate through your lot and quickly find its entrances and exits. If customers feel confused when trying to make it to your doorstep, it’s an immediate turnoff that puts you on the emotional back foot.

The shine of the vehicles in a dealership’s lot

It’s no secret that creating an attractive display of your automotive inventory is crucial, but what’s not so well-known is that the shininess of your cars is a key factor in how the quality of your inventory — and your brand — is perceived.

When customers are zooming by on the street, you already have a limited window in which to capture their attention (little more than a second or two at best). But when your cars are sporting an undeniable sheen from your bright LED lighting, it grabs attention and gets folks to look twice at your inventory.

But why? According to The Journal of Ecological Psychology, the brain seems to correlate shininess and high-gloss surfaces with water, something we are primed to seek out even at an early age. In turn, people are always willing to give an array of high-gloss objects a second look — especially when it’s a car lot full of attractive vehicles.

In a nutshell, the shinier your cars look, the cleaner and more high-quality they appear to your customers, which drives more visits. Moreover, this immediately puts your dealership on the right footing with customers as soon as they walk in the door, as they’re already more likely to trust the quality of your brand, its inventory, and your salespeople.

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How LED Lighting Attracts Customers to Auto Dealerships

Now that we know which visual branding elements attract customers to a dealership, let’s learn how your location’s LED lighting dials into these elements and makes your dealership a beacon for your brand.

Vivid LED lighting with on-brand colors captures the attention of your customers

Brightness isn’t the only element at work when it comes to your lighting’s ability to draw in customers. It has to work harmoniously with your branding, colors, and building architecture to truly capture the attention of passersby.

This is where LED lighting like VibraLine works perfectly. Able to match the colors of your branding, easy to install, and adaptable to most any architectural design, you can unify your branding while making your dealership stand out and catch the eye of customers.

Even if they don’t pull in right away, your building’s still doing the work of keeping your brand top-of-mind with customers in the area, making your location the first place they think of when shopping for a new vehicle.

Your automobile inventory is shinier, appearing of a higher quality to customers

This is especially effective with bright lighting closer to the lighter ends of the color spectrum. With the high-gloss surfaces of your automobile inventory working in tandem with your architecture’s border tube lighting, you create a sea of cars and trucks that look great and make customers feel greater confidence in both your inventory and in your brand.

Your dealership lot looks cleaner and safer

Even if your lot is arranged perfectly, it’s not going to attract customers if it’s dimly lit. Put simply, as humans, we’re hardwired to avoid poorly-lit areas; it signals unknown dangers and evokes feelings of suspicion. This is definitely an emotional factor you don’t want working against your sales team.

By investing in bright architectural LED lighting, your dealership looks great, elevates your brand, and lets your customers know that they’re entering a safe and trustworthy environment.

Your dealership stands out from competitors

If you’re a dealership in even some of North America’s smallest cities, we’d be willing to bet that there’s another dealership within a stone’s throw of your office right now.

In short, to say the competitive landscape for auto sales is tight would be the understatement of the year. Every potential competitive advantage matters in this economy and especially between dealerships.

And it’s here where your LED lighting performs some of its greatest work. If your customers are choosing between two competitive brands, it’s no surprise that they’re going to likely head over to the dealership that’s well-lit, inviting, and evokes positive emotions as they pull in. Even before the first handshake, your lighting sets the stage for your sales team.

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How Illuminated Signage Attracts Customers to Auto Dealerships

Architectural lighting isn’t the only weapon in your arsenal that your dealership can deploy when you’re looking to increase traffic. Working hand-in-hand with your vivid, led-lit architecture, illuminated signage helps catch the eye of passing customers, draw them into your showroom, and get them in front of your sales reps.

Bright signage attracts customer attention despite the weather or surroundings.

Even on days when the weather’s tough, your led-illuminated signage stands out from your competitors and shines through the otherwise dull surroundings of an overcast day.

Moreover, when your signage is illuminated with LED solutions like LumiFlex, your sign stays bright and looks great in any condition thanks to its robust all-weather durability and resistance to water and harsh UV rays.

Clean, attractive signage that’s easy to read makes customers want to visit.

The data couldn’t be clearer: When signage falls into disrepair or even simply lags behind the presentation of the competition’s signage, your brand’s reputation takes a massive hit.

According to the Signage Research Foundation’s study on consumer perceptions of signs, more than half of customers — regardless of industry or sector — admitted that they keep on driving if a business has signage that’s unclear, difficult to read, or in poor shape.

LED-illuminated signage is undoubtedly one of the strongest tools you have to win business. Through an investment in bright, eye-catching signs that look great in any weather, you put your location to work for you and transform it into one of the most effective salespeople for your brand.

How to get LED Lighting and Illuminated Signage for Your Auto Dealership

Getting affordable, high-performance LED lighting and illuminated signage for your auto dealership is just an email or phone call away.

Our lighting experts have helped brands of all sizes reach more customers all throughout North America by transforming their location into their most powerful advertising force.

Unify your branding, attract more customers, and grow your sales today with Lektron as your visual branding partner — we can’t wait to get started.

We’ve been helping dealerships attract customers and save money for years. Let’s get started together.

Talk with our Sales Team

Dan Rajczyk

About Dan Rajczyk

Dan Rajczyk, Business Development Executive at Lektron Branding Solutions, helps North American businesses implement cost-saving LED lighting technologies to amplify their brand — attracting more customers and increasing revenues.


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  2. “Consumer Perceptions of Retail Signage” Sign Research Foundation. Available at:
  3. Fedex office survey: Standout signs contribute to sales (2022) FedEx Newsroom. FedEx Newsroom. Available at:
  4. McCloughan, C.L., Aspinall, P.A. and Webb, R.S. (1999) “The impact of lighting on mood,” Lighting Research and Technology, 31(3), pp. 81–88. Available at: