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The Importance of Defining Your Brand

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When pinpointing the customers you want to target, Cecil Bullard, CEO of the Institute of Automotive Business Excellence, says you need to decide what type of business you want to be. Do you want to be more like Wal-Mart or Nordstrom? McDonald's or Carl’s Jr.?

During one of his WORLDPAC classes, “Increasing Market Share the Right Way,” Bullard said it’s vital to pick one side of the spectrum—either be the cheapest brand, or the brand with the best quality and service. Any brand attempting to fit somewhere in the middle will not succeed.

So, occasionally cutting prices or putting certain items "on sale" is not a sustainable business strategy. You have to decide if you’re going to offer cheap service with cheap quality, or premium service with superior quality.

However, if you want to be the Nordstrom of automotive repair, you better be able to back it up, he says.

If you want to be at the upper end of the spectrum, Bullard says it’s vital to offer additional services and find ways to differentiate yourself from all other shops in your area. This may mean adding free car washes onto your business, offering loaner vehicles, or even constantly working to maintain a friendly relationship with all customers.

It’s important to know who you are, and be able to communicate that clearly to clients. Bullard says that every member of your staff needs to be on the same page in delivering a clear, consistent message to your clients. Each employee needs to understand your value statement, and be able to translate that into what they do and how to sell it.

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