The Basics of Branding Your Automotive Business
Branding your company is one of the most efficient ways to tell a potential new customer who you are and what you do. First impressions do matter!
Creating a good impression in the minds of your customers and prospects is vital in today’s market. It can help deliver a competitive advantage, a greater return on investment and long-term brand loyalty. It can help build a better business.
It’s important to make sure your auto repair shop’s image shows, at a glance, that you are a professional and trustworthy business. Making sure you stand out and are remembered visually can help cement your reputation in your area, and this increases your businesses revenue and longevity. Some key elements of your automotive shop’s branding are your logo, your website, your online reputation and your customer service. All of these elements should work together and carry the same message.
What Does Your Branding Say About You?
Whether you know exactly what message you want to send to your potential new customers, or you are still deciding, it’s important to take a step back and look at how people perceive your business. Take the time to look at the online reviews you receive, and how people interact with your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Sometimes you may have good intentions, but your outdated logo or website are displaying a different image all together. (Read a first-hand account of how this exact branding identity crisis happened to a local auto repair shop in Sacramento!) A crisp, clean branding shows your customers that you are professional and pay attention to detail, something they want in the shop that they choose to work on their automobile.
Some Key Things to Remember When Branding Your Automotive Business
Defining Your Brand:
- What is your company‘s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What qualities do you want potential customers to associate with your business?
Being Unique/Defining Your Target Audience:
- What sets your business apart from your competitors? (Warranty, friendly staff, online appointment scheduling, etc.)
- Who is your target demographic? (Don’t just say everyone, be specific to your area. Do a lot of people drive minivans around you? Are you in a college town? Are you near a business or residential area? These things can affect your target audience.)
- What ways can you clearly reach your specific target audience? (Social media? Postcard mailings? Mobile?)
- Do your research to identify the needs, habits and desires of the current and potential customers
- Focus on your long-term branding efforts to ensure you keep your shop’s branding consistent.
- Establish your voice. Make it carry through the same on all your marketing materials and online elements.
- Ensure that your shop’s building, logo, color scheme, images, service name and descriptions all align for easy recognition.
- Be consistent among all communication channels.
Your brand is your promise to your potential and existing customers. It explains to them what they can expect from your staff and services. Branding also differentiates you from your competitors, portraying your businesses’ core values and philosophy.
With a good brand identity, no matter whether someone sees an email, postcard, brochure, social media profile or more, they will immediately recognize that it’s you – and that instant recognition is a powerful thing, especially when trust is tied to it.
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