As an auto shop owner, you are someone’s competition. You and your competitors are trying to make a name for yourselves. So how much is it worth to stand out from the crowd? Getting your message out and letting people know why they should be visiting you and not the auto shop down the block is what your Brand is all about!
Your brand is your auto shop’s personality and is defined by your customer’s overall perception of your business. Having a brand makes you memorable. Once established and done consistently, it gives you credibility among your competitors and builds trust with your customers.
Branding is the most powerful marketing tool you have and tells customers what they can expect from your services. It drives new customers in and keeps the old ones coming back. Whether you’re just launching a new auto shop or rebranding an existing one, here are the 5 things you need to create your auto shop’s brand.
5 Things You Need to Create Your Auto Shop’s Brand
- Develop Your Core Message
- Offer a Value Proposition
- Establish a Voice for Your Brand
- Create a Logo
- Tie Your Brand Elements Together with Shopping Cart Advertising
Develop Your Core Message
What is the purpose of your auto shop? Yes, it’s to repair vehicles, but why are YOU in the auto shop business?
Perhaps you started your business to address a need like affordability, quality service, quick service, or even a lack of auto shops owned by women or minorities. One great example of a core message, speaking of woman-owned garages, is this female-owned and operated auto shop in Philadelphia, PA, called Girls Auto Clinic. The founder, Patrice Banks, says she was frustrated with a lack of resources to educate women on car care and her inability to find a female mechanic in the Philadelphia area. She learned how to work on cars herself and started the Girls Auto Clinic to create a place she would want to bring her car for repair and maintenance. She has since made it her mission to educate and empower women through their vehicles.
This is more than a good story. It is a reason for Patrice’s customers to do business with her. Sure other shops can change tires, change oil, and tune engines, but Patrice knows who her customer is and lets her know that she can feel good about the experience she’ll get while repairing her car.
Whatever your mission is, it is the foundation of branding your auto shop.
Offer a Value Proposition
What makes your auto shop unique and separates you from everyone else doing the same thing? Focusing on this differentiator is what will help you communicate your value to your customers.
Using Girls Auto Clinic again as an example, they are setting themselves apart by appealing to a common perception in auto shops: women get taken advantage of. In addition to offering full-service auto repair, they have a beauty lounge where you can relax and get pampered with a manicure, pedicure, or waxing while your car is being serviced. Check it out; it’s called Clutch Beauty Bar. All this messaging tells their customers that this is a business by women for women.
Your auto shop will always compete to get the attention, loyalty, and money of customers. You may not have a beauty bar in your waiting area, but you have other things to offer that customers will find just as valuable.
If you’re struggling to figure out what distinguishes your auto shop from others, this quote from Simon Sinek may help. He says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
Once you discover what sets you apart, communicate this value to your customers. It may be the very thing that causes them to choose you over your competition.
Establish a Voice for Your Brand
Your brand needs to have a voice that describes your auto shop’s personality. Your voice is the tone that you use in any copy or public communication such as; emails, social media posts, or content on your website.
The voice of your brand is how you want to appear to customers. Do you want to be funny? Clever? Professional or Casual? Whatever you choose, it will affect almost all of your branding and will need to be consistent across all of your marketing channels.
Here’s an example of a voice from an auto shop brand you probably know. The mission for Christian Brothers Automotive is to Love Your Neighbor As Yourself, and the voice of their brand communicates that they care about more than cars. They focus on earning the trust of their customers and building long term relationships, so their content includes uplifting messages of kindness and friendship. Here’s a Facebook post that Christian Brothers Automotive did for Humankind Week:
The voice of Christian Brothers Automotive shows that the brand’s personality is friendly and caring, but without overdoing it.
If you need a little help with the Do’s and Don’ts of establishing a voice, here’s a voice chart to help show you how different traits should be represented in your marketing:
Create a Logo
If your core message and value proposition are your auto shop’s identity, then your auto shop logo is your face.
Your logo is the most recognizable part of your brand. It’s placed on everything from your business cards, your website, and the actual building itself. That’s why your logo needs to do more than look cool. It should communicate to your customers that it means and stands for your auto shop when they see an image(your logo).
A logo needs to be easy to interpret, and you want to make sure you stand out and are remembered visually. There are many things to consider before beginning your design, like colors and imagery. We’ve created a blog post that will explain all the elements of designing a logo and show you how to make an auto shop logo for absolutely free using tools like Canva.
Tie Everything Together with Shopping Cart Advertising
Once you create your auto shop’s brand, it’s time to start promoting it. One of the best places to promote your brand is right at your local grocery store.
Cartvertising at IndoorMedia specializes in brand recognition advertising and places your message at the fingertips of 20,000 shoppers each week, creating the repetition your brand needs to build familiarity with prospective customers in your neighborhood.
Visit our Cartvertising page to learn more about how we can create exposure for your auto shop’s brand.
Your brand embodies who you are as a business and communicates that to your customers. When you establish brand identity, whether someone sees an email, postcard, brochure, or social media profile, they will immediately recognize that it’s you. That instant recognition is a powerful thing, especially when trust is tied to it.
Branding builds credibility and establishes trust between businesses and consumers. It’s what entices people to come to your auto shop in the first place, and keeps them coming back in the future.