How do you define a tire tier? - Tire Review Magazine

How do you define a tire tier?

Tire dealers provided various views on what attributes define a tire manufacturer's tier.

What defines a tire tier? Even if there isn’t an official designation for tire tiers, tire dealers still have a perception of the qualities that define a tier to best match customers’ needs. Let’s talk about different attributes that tire dealers consider when ranking tire tiers.

We are taking an in-depth look at a very contentious and highly requested topic: the definition of tire tiers. This data showed just how polarizing this topic is, with tire dealers providing various views on what attributes define a tire manufacturer’s tier. The point is, there is no simple, one-size-fits-all way to distinguish between tire tiers.

Looking at the average ranking of different attributes, a few clear priorities emerge. After asking dealers to rank between ten different attributes in defining a tire manufacturer’s tier, product quality took the top spot as the most important factor.

2.8 product quality

Product quality has been rated an importance of 2.8 out of 10, on average, for what defines a tire tier.

To simplify things, 86% of respondents ranked product quality in their top five, followed by consumer brand recognition at 73% and product price point at 63%.

top/bottom five attributes

At the other end of the spectrum, advertising budget, a manufacturer’s global market share and OE relationships were seen to have little to no influence on their perception of a tire manufacturer’s quality tier.

Again though, it’s important to keep in mind how perception-based this data is. For example, when taking a deeper look at the distribution of choices that make up the ranking average, we started to notice that this data isn’t telling us the entire story.

RWTn tier data discrepancy

While 28% of respondents put advertising budgets as their least important factor, 20% said it’s actually one of the most important considerations. We see this diversity of perspectives play out across the board. While product quality took the number one average rank, 12% of dealers still said it’s among the bottom of important factors.

The implications here are clear for tire dealers—the data proves there are diverse mindsets among tire dealers surrounding what makes a tire tier. Relying too heavily on averages or your own opinions could lead you to misread your own customer needs.

So, if the attributes behind different tiers of tires vary and are mostly opinionated, is the concept of tire brand tiers still relevant in today’s marketplace? It isn’t as simple as saying yes or no, it’s all based on perception.

What about the depth of the product line, marketplace innovation and dealer programs or relationships?

Product line, marketplace, dealer programs RWTN

As you can see, an equal number of respondents ranked these either in their top five attributes or bottom five. What does this mean? You are likely a dealer that, as our data shows, has attributes like product quality among their top factors, while something like an advertising budget is less important to defining a tier. Even though your customers may have less knowledge of tiers than you do, they likely have similar priorities. However, when you communicate a certain brand’s depth of product line or explain the brand’s marketplace innovation, for example, you may be highlighting attributes that your peers don’t, giving you a leg up.

These attributes may not be something you even need to highlight at all, but knowing your customer base is important here. Why? Because, when you explain one of those attributes, you could be speaking directly to customers looking for these qualities, which could help tip the scale for a sale.

For tire dealers, this data reinforces the need to deeply understand the exact criteria driving purchase decisions for your consumers. Asking customers their perception of which brand attributes resonate most could reveal disconnects from your conventional thinking about what qualities make up a tire tier.

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