This article originally appeared in Automotive News.

In a world vying for consumers’ attention at every turn, the slightest inconvenience or misunderstanding can loosen a brand’s grasp on them. A clear, simple brand and product experience cannot be undervalued, and when 64 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a simpler experience, every complexity is leaving money on the table. In the automotive industry, 16 percent of consumers say the same—the highest percentage of any industry, according to a recent study surveying 15,000 consumers and 25 industries worldwide.

Despite the automotive industry’s ranking as the 11th most complex industry globally, brands such as Audi, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Toyota strive toward a simpler consumer experience. These brands focus on telling a story beyond the vehicle—capitalizing on the digital ecosystem surrounding consumers’ car-buying experiences and tapping into personal moments of impact throughout the customer journey.

Audi, for example, leverages digitization to amplify the brand and streamline the customer experience across touchpoints—from marketing to point of sale to post-sale. The myAudi app is the consumers’ hub for simple vehicle data, customization options and on-demand booking to test different functions. Audi has also brought interactive moments on-site, with real-time, large-scale, 3D visualizations of vehicles and equipment from different dealership locations. Customers can also use Audi Live consultation to get expert advice from other locations. These innovations create immersive interactions with the brand that simplify consumer education, alleviating pain points.

Despite such innovations, challenges persist. In the same recent survey, customers ranked purchasing a vehicle as the most complex aspect of the consumer journey—second only to renting a car. Examining the touchpoints causing this complexity reveals a discrepancy: Engaging with the brand through hands-on experiences such as test drives and dealership visits promotes simplicity for consumers, but navigating and understanding specific features is complex.

The solution lies in merging experiential and educational moments, turning facts into feelings. There are three brand shifts companies can take to achieve this.

What is the story?

The first is to define a brand story that creates a clear thread linking your company’s purpose, the feeling your brand evokes and the way your products bring this to life—and then reinforce that story over and over. Too often in the automotive industry, brands rely on the products to tell their story, with features overshadowing benefits. Alternatively, Hyundai has defined its role as “driving progress for humanity,” connecting its vehicles’ functional benefits, such as price point, to a broader narrative of freedom. When consumers know what your brand stands for before they begin their journey to purchase, clear functional benefits become proof points for what they already know you deliver.

Ask Alexa

The second is to drive meaningful engagement, especially at consumer pain points. While consumers find simplicity and value in the dealership experience, learning about specific vehicle features from sales representatives proves to be a pain point. To solve for this, VW partnered with Amazon to offer test drives of their all-electric ID4 powered by Alexa. This allowed prospective buyers to test drive the vehicles and have their questions answered by a trusted source, Alexa. By removing the barrier of a salesperson, VW could increase test drives, optimize the customer experience and ultimately sell more vehicles. To find similar solutions, explore how experiential activations can remove barriers to make consumers’ experience with your brand seamless before, during and after purchase.

Making a connection

The third, and perhaps the most challenging because it requires the most commitment from across the business, is to create a strong connection to the brand beyond engagement. Toyota has consistently used the brand as a decision-making lens across everything it does. This has come to life through a sustained commitment to building a human-centered brand backed by quality and innovation. An example is SmartPath, a vehicle purchasing tool that lets consumers go through the entire vehicle purchasing journey, from browsing live dealer inventory to customizing pricing estimates to applying for financing in a hybrid, online or in-person experience. On top of simplifying the vehicle purchasing process, Toyota is putting the power back in the hands of the consumer, giving them more options to navigate the most complicated aspects of car buying.

There’s no shortage of factors for consumers to consider when searching for a vehicle; that journey lives on after purchase. But the steps along the way can be simplified through thoughtful brand moments. Find the intersection between the moments that reinforce your brand’s promise and the tools that simplify your consumers’ experiences. This sweet spot will engage them through the journey—and benefit your brand in the long run.

Miranda Wolf is Associate Strategy Director