Chapter TwoWhy Brand?
You are not that unique, right now.
The harsh reality of branding is that it’s not for everyone.
There are two types of automotive businesses out there. The first is apathetic companies that live by the sale. They want to produce transactions and nothing more. Their business operates on profit/loss reports, abandoned shopping cart metrics, and the next sale. It’s profits before people for this group.
Then you have the empathetic type of automotive business. They are looking to connect with customers. They want to be the best resource in their segment. They desire to become a cult following. They want to build a community filled with longstanding customers. They put people before profits.
Branding is not an option for apathetic companies. They do not get branding, nor do they care to understand the power of branding. Empathetic automotive businesses understand branding. The topic resonates with their business model. Unfortunately, the empathetic group lives by an old code of branding habits that we must eliminate.
More unsettling truth about branding.
When you begin your automotive business, you fight for every customer who walks through your physical or virtual doors.
You take them all.
Chances are you were also dropping prices and making deals for people, so they purchase from you and no one else.
Unfortunately, this type of approach was short-lived. You saw it was not sustainable for long-term growth.
In your second year of business, you begin to realize how small your profits are, so you quit giving discounts or making deals. That creates a cascade of people no longer willing to purchase from you. All of those ‘loyal’ customers you thought you had left.
You were pissed off and wondering what to do? So you reverted to old habits. That simple action of reverting to old habits spells the end of many automotive businesses.
Those who survive or have the determination to fix the problems will take an honest look at their company. They will make the required adjustments to attract the right customers and charge what they are worth with confidence—no more prolonged need to discount or give deals to people because they are willing to pay for your service and products at their listed price, no questions asked.
How did they do it?
They turned their automotive business into an automotive brand. They took their company from looking, sounding and behaving like every other automotive business in their market segment and built it into the brand they dreamed about.
These business owners explored why they exist and how they can create meaningful relationships with their customers. Their desire to put customers before the sale increased their empathy.
Whether you are a seasoned automotive brand or beginning as a new automotive business owner, this guide will help you understand the details of branding and how to connect with customers in meaningful ways.
Whether you are a seasoned automotive brand or beginning as a new automotive business owner, this guide will help you understand the details of branding and how to create one for your automotive company.
What does branding mean?
Simply put, it’s how people feel about your company when they see your logo, interact with your business and talk about it to other people. Every piece of your company encompasses your brand. Yes, this includes your shop, signage, website, logo design, products, service, social media, advertising, customers, the experience, your employees, and so much more.
What they say cannot be changed, but you can influence their perception to create a positive outcome.
- Can you change what people say about your brand? Yes.
- Can you fix their assumed perception of your company? Yup.
- Can you influence them into repeating the narrative you create? Yes, you can.
Better branding equals effective marketing.
With branding, you can tell your story in such a way that it attracts the right audience and repels those who are simply looking for a deal. You will also create a loyal community that will buy from you continually and talk about your brand in positive ways you never imagined. Branding gives you the necessary tools to tell others who you are, what you do and why you do it with precision. Branding also gives you directions on what your marketing pieces should look like and whom they should speak to with detail.
Branding your automotive business the right way requires many elements, which this guide will help you accomplish.
Throughout this guide, we will discuss how you can accomplish the following:
- Mapping out who you are, what you do, and why you do it
- Positioning yourself to attract the right people
- Outlining your ideal target audience in detail so you can market to them effectively.
- Designing your brand’s identity, website and shop to stand out from the competition.
- Communicating your brand through strong visuals and words.
The first piece to any great brand is understanding your values. In the next chapter, I will explain why and how to create your own set of core values.