If you’re not branded my friend you need to be. Branding your dealership is not rocket science. All you need is a few instructions and you can get started today. Branding your dealership, actually translated, means having your marketing and advertising dollars go further.
And now that social media is a big part of your marketing plan, branding is even more important. Branding is about relationships.
Branding doesn’t mean you are giving up on retail advertising. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Good branding simply means your retail advertising will be even stronger.
In fact, I’d say the worst branded dealership is still better than the dealership with no brand.
It’s easy to get started but it requires a little work on your part. The first step you need to take is to have a look in the mirror. I suggest you do this with a series of focus groups amongst your personnel. For a brand to work it needs buy-in and the quickest way to do this is by inclusion.
Here’s how you get started.
- Find an outside person to be the facilitator of the focus groups.
- Next, schedule a series of 25 minute meetings. Depending on the size of your store, I would suggest having one for sales, service, office personnel and one for managers.
- In the first three focus groups no managers are allowed. This gives everyone permission to speak freely. The facilitator will ask a series of open ended questions about the dealership. These questions will focus on what’s good in their opinion and what’s bad when it comes to all areas of the dealership.
- These will all be listed on white sheets. After about 10-15 minutes you’ll have a significant list of positive and negative items. The group is then asked what are the positive assets of the dealership.
- These assets are listed on a sheet titled you got it assets. Some of these assets might be things you are currently doing and some might have a little dust on them. But overall, the staff believes they are assets.
- After the assets are agreed upon you choose only the assets you believe are unique to the dealership. This list rarely gets as high as six and many times it is as few as 2 or 3.
- After each meeting goes through this process, including the mangers, you have four sheets of unique assets. In the final meeting with the mangers you reveal all the asset sheets for them to review. This allow for some deeper thoughts by the managers.
- Once the final page of unique assets is agreed upon by the managers you now have your brand promises. These items need to be in as many of your dealership messages as possible. Branding is making sure every message has some continuity and consistency.