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Has Subaru's 'Share the Love' Cause Marketing Promotion Boosted its Net Promoter Score?

A new consumer opinion survey shows that among the major car makers, Subaru enjoys the highest net promoter score. By a lot; eight percentage points better than second-place finisher Toyota.

Could it be that Subaru’s score started catching fire just as it’s cause marketing effort called ‘Share the Love’ started to gain momentum.

The Net Promoter Score, as you’ll recall is a super-simple measure of customer satisfaction. The Net Promoter Score is measured with an eight word question: “would you recommend this product/business to a friend?”

The Net Promoter scores are based on a 0-10 scale and the measure the degree to which someone is genuinely pleased with your product, company or service and why.

Here’s the scale:

9-10 Net Promoter
7-8 Neutral
0-6 Detractor

Subaru launched the ‘Share the Love’ promotion in 2008. In it Subaru donates $250 to several causes when you buy or lease a new Subaru between the middle of November and the first week in January. There’s also a Facebook ‘like’ campaign that generates another donation. In four years Subaru has donated more than $15 million to about 15 charities.

Here from BIGInsight are the Net Promoter Scores totals for the major automobile manufacturers over the last three years.

JAN 2010 JAN 2011 JAN 2012
Subaru: 42.3% 52.2% 56.8%
Toyota: 51.6% 41.3% 48.9%
Honda: 49.7% 49.7% 43.9%
Lexus: 65.0% 55.3% 43.2%
Volkswag: 26.5% 43.2% 40.7%

GMC (0.1%) (3.6%) 27.9%
Cadillac 11.8% 23.7% 19.8%
Ford 5.4% 7.9% 15.7%
Chevy 12.6% 11.3% 12.3%
Buick 17.0% 4.8% 6.2%
Chrysler (7.2%) 1.5% 0.3%

Of course it’s hard to draw a direct line of causation from ‘Share the Love’ cause marketing efforts to Subaru’s higher scores based only on this information. Although Subaru’s sales are also up since 2008 and the company now enjoys 2.3 percent of U.S. market share, its highest level ever.

Throwing all caution aside, the argument could be made that Subaru owners are responding not only to the automobiles the company makes, but how it makes them feel to see their company give back.

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