You can't frustrate and annoy people into liking your brand. Yet a lot of automotive websites seem to be trying to do that, says Ron Rogowski, a senior analyst for Forrester Research.

“Illegible text is the No.1 complaint,” he says. “It is hard to believe in this day and age that text would be so difficult to read on so many sites.”

Meanwhile, many auto makers' websites fail to fulfill raised expectations, Rogowski says. “A lot of luxury auto sites have exciting brand messages, but the sites themselves are a let down. “You can't bore people into liking you, either.”

BMW's website touts sheer driving pleasure, “yet you don't get that feeling as you go through the site's configurator,” he says.

Likewise, Audi's configurator is a “let down” after the site piques interest through catchy visuals, videos and an engaging story line.

Another Rogowski rap: Jaguar's site ballyhoos “Jaguar Performance R,” without much explaining what that is.

“You have got to get into the customer's head,” he says. “Forget what you, as a person in the auto industry, know about the industry, product and brand.”

Forrester reviewed 900 automotive sites, “and most have flaws,” says Rogowski. To avoid that, “make sure everyone involved in the site knows the company brand attributes. Then permeate the site with the brand image.”

He also recommends conducting quarterly brand reviews to “get the brand action right.”