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Co-Branding in Automotive Service Businesses
In a world of co-branding, point of destination strategies and co-op marketing; all industries are evolving and diversifying to capture greater profits within a single brick and mortar location. The same strategies are used on the Internet only you can see it happen faster in real time on Internet web sites. In general much of the new thinking has been customer driven due to lifestyle changes, low unemployment, time factors and quality of life issues of the consumer.
If you look at amazon.com which now sells tapes, records and toys when previously it was strictly a books sales site. It can quickly add new revenue streams by offering it's customer base more reasons to buy more things. Do you to see the revolutionizing effect of this trend? We have on-line search engines being paid million dollars from car companies and furniture companies for their industries exclusive rights to e-commerce directly on those sites. As Starbucks begins to sell house wares on their web site, and Home Depots add McDonalds inside their stores and Bank of Wal-Mart opening it's own brand of bank within its 5 superstores; you have to think that 'express detailing' at car washes is simply a natural. progression.
Many professional detailers would disagree saying these types of services are different animals. Some complain that fixed site car washes have ruined the true definition of the term detailing. Yet if you look closely this is nothing more than true capitalism in a free market system generating additional revenues with existing resources.
Think about it for a minute. Professional Detailing Centers often do glass repair, window tinting, pin-striping and graphics, gold plating, ozone treatment, dent repair, color sanding, upholstery repair, wood grain paneling, and even after market auto accessories. These are all industries in their own right and these industry leaders with their own definitions and trade publications and accepted operational procedures complain about other competitors in other market sectors offering similar services as professional detailers. They say we are stealing their customers and not providing the same quality workmanship as the craftsmen do in those industries, which may or may not be true.
For example a person specializing in upholstery repair for twenty years can obviously do a better quality job than a detailer on fabrics of almost any type. You are affecting his bottom line with an inferior service since you don't have 20 years experience in upholstery repair understanding the dynamics of thirty different types of fabric, dyes, and manufacturers suggestions for preservation. Should he be mad at you for offering a greater array of service to you customers? No, the upholstery craftsman will need to have his own set of value added services and products he can offer to his customers such as removing and replacing seats and headliners and using the highest grade fabrics and stainless steel screws. You must have a specialty or an area of expertise, but you must also understand and then cater to the needs and more importantly the wants and desires of your customer. If you don't know their wants and needs, ask your customers directly in an informal survey or indirectly during conversations. If you fail to honor this advice, that's okay your customer will be serviced by your competition instead. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs
Creating Powerful Names for Products, Services, and Your Business
The name of your business is important--it's one of the first things potential customers know about it. And having unique names for each of your products and services can be a powerful selling tool. One way to make yourself and your business attractive is to have something exclusive and enticing, promising benefits. Good names for your business, products and services can do that. Good names market for you.
Acquire, Then Rebrand
Acquiring another corporation usually means that the acquiring company's name will be the name of the newly merged entity. There is one factor that can change that -- one that is stronger than anything else. What is it? It is you, the consumer.
Quality and Service - Yeah, Right!
One of the critical drivers of business success is having a unique competitive advantage. Most managers understand that to attract a larger share of the market, or find enough customers prepared to pay a premium price, they must provide something of greater value than their competition. For most managers, competitive advantage boils down to providing superior quality and service. Think about it. Is this what you are aiming for?
Boston Web Design Branding - Brand Identity Guru
A branding company's website purpose is to design websites that will attract attention, give a professional image and support the message you are trying to convey in writing. There are arguments for doing your website design in-house. However website design, search engine optimization and copywriting is a very specialized area and utilizing a website design company can pay big dividends.
Corporate Identity - A Rough Guide
A rough guide to corporate identity
Brand Identity Guru - Is Your Brand Vital?
The world is not waiting for you?or your product or service. Or your firm. Or your firm's message. They're getting along just fine without you. Until you give them a reason to think otherwise, it'll continue that way. This isn't news, though. That's why you advertise and market. But so does every other business out there. What are the chances you'll be noticed? Almost nil. Unless?
Your Brand is Your Promise! (So What Are You Promising?)
When people mention the word "brand" they usually mean a well known, well defined company. That's why consumers frequently mention names such as Target, Rolex, Apple, BMW and others who have done an excellent job in crafting an image and sticking with it. Buyers know what to expect from these companies, and as long as these companies meet that expectation, they will continue to imprint their brand in the minds of our their audience. It's pretty simple really, if you just keep in mind these two principals.
Revealing the Roots: The Process of Building Brand
How is branding different than marketing?
Logo Design - Corporate Identity Branding - Brand Identity Guru
Like it or not it's who you are. Your corporate Identity touches all aspects of your business and plays a vital role in your customer's overall feeling with your organization. Having a strong integrated identity throughout your marketing communications is the first step to building your company and a solid brand image. Your Web design, brochures, ads and all other collateral should be developed to enhance the corporate identity of your company and enable customers to instantly identify with your organization's spirit and messaging.
Trademark Issues in the Mobil Auto Business
There have always been trademark issues and lawsuits in the mobile auto service business. I know this because I own several such businesses. We first noticed a competitor in the Mobile Auto Detailing Business, which had a name "Mobile Auto Services" another "Mobile Oil Change" and still another "Mobile Car Care". Mobil Oil Company was marketing at the time their Gas Station Service Centers as "Mobil Auto-Services" "Mobil Car Care" and "Mobil Auto Care."
Extreme Makeover ? Small Business Edition
Have you ever watched one of those home makeover shows? You know the scenario. The homeowners have decorated or remodeled their house all by themselves. After awhile, they realize that what they did is unprofessional, it doesn't work, it's not what they want, it's not what they need, it's ugly, or they just flat out despise it. So, they hire an expert designer to help.
Brand Equity Building - Measuring Brand Value
Measuring brand equity allows a company to establish a baseline and track changes in its brand equity over time. If a company consistently works to improve the strength of its brands, it must trace progress, or risk "flying blind." Changes in a quantitative measurement of brand equity can show the company the effects of its work, and greatly aid in setting marketing and management priorities in the next business planning cycle.
Tips for Creating Brilliant Business Names
Imagine if Yahoo! had been named TheInternetDirectoy. Or StarBucks was christened "Premier Coffees". The names would be far more descriptive than their current ones. But they wouldn't embody the essence or spirit of the companies they represent. Even if they offered the exact same goods and services, it's unlikely Yahoo! or StarBucks would enjoy the same market share they now possess if given the more descriptive, and arguably accurate, names.
Why Should I do Business With You?
It's the question that is on the minds of all our customers regardless of what products or services we are offering. Potential customers want to know what makes you so different and why should they do business with you as opposed to one of your competitor's.
Franchisor Policies for Unlicensed or Sold Territories
Franchisors often have issues when they own a brand which has service vehicles; where franchisees wish to operate in non-franchise assigned territories. We had this as a re-occurring issue in our franchise system. We came up with this policy, which is also in our Confidential Operations Manuals. Here is a sample policy for our franchisees:
How to Work with Your Graphic Designer
As a graphic designer, I can tell you something right here, right now, right off the bat without blinking?.the graphic design process is a pain in the butt. From the graphic designer point of view, here's what it looks like.
Brand Equity - Brand Identity Guru
7 Qualities Of A Strong Brand:
Logo Files: Versions Of Your Logo That You Should Own
Your logo is the most important graphic element in which you will invest for your business. You should own the logo in many file formats. Having a library of logo files will enable you to send vendors the types of files they need (for example, other designers, printers, or other service providers).
Putting You and Your Company in Position to Own Your Market
Americans have always liked their coffee hot. But then Starbucksmade hot coffee desirable, in demand, and extraordinarilyprofitable. And then Starbucks made coffee "cool" with itssuper-popular iced Frappucino drink -- just as trendy,fashionable, and universally appealing.Starbucks is no doubt one of the greatest marketing stories ofrecent history. How this company turned an unassuming beverageinto an icon of sophistication and taste is no mystery, however.It's all about a marketing tenet called positioning.The coffee company started out in Seattle's Pike Place market in1971 as a single gourmet coffee shop, and by 1995, the chain'searnings were $26.1 million. Marketing experts agree thatStarbucks' skyrocket to fortune centers on its aesthetic sense.In other words, the public's perception of Starbucks has to dowith how it appreciates this company's style. Sure, Starbucksfilled a need and created unique product brands, but whatattracts coffee drinkers again and again is the experience ofthe Starbucks environment and its products. Smooth,sophisticated, artistic: These are seductive qualities even fora business based on a little brown bean.The Starbucks story illustrates at least two powerful marketingprinciples. Both help us to better understand effectivepositioning, or the process of finding a "place" for ourselvesin people's minds:People buy for their own reasons, not anyoneelse's.The stronger position is found in the experience, outcome,or benefit you provide as opposed to the methods you use forproducing those outcomes.Starbucks shows us that it's not about packaging -- it's aboutpositioning. The environment of Starbucks creates an experiencethat invites us to come study for exams, hang out andphilosophize with friends, or get the day started with a warmcup of java and the morning news. Starbucks is an invitation tolinger, not just get your coffee and go.When you are assessing your own position and considering how youmight improve your image and thus your market share, rememberthat there are essentially four winning positions: better,different, faster, or cheaper. You can certainly positionyourself as one of these, perhaps even two; capturing a positionas three of them is tough and probably not desirable, andcornering all four is just about impossible.Not everyone is up to the task of creating another Starbucks.It's tempting, with price wars so rampant, to believe that aperception of being cheapest is easiest to establish. Yet intruth this is the most difficult because of fixed costs. It'slike doing the limbo: you can go only so low, and then you'reoverextended or flat on your back. Definitely not the easiestposition to be in.How about being better instead? Contrary to popular belief, thisis perhaps the easiest position to take, since making animprovement or simply creating the impression of greater qualityor ability has no constraints. One tip: when you capture thedifferent category, you may get the better category as aby-product.Starbucks capitalized on this technique, as did Dennis Rodman,the oddball of basketball. He came up with a way to take twopositions in fans' eyes: both different and better. Okay, maybehe wasn't actually better than his teammate Michael Jordan, whowas unbeatable, but certainly he was perceived for a time asbetter (cooler, trendier) among those who were captivated by hisstyle. His fashion and fascinating antics made him so unique thathe became unforgettable. And because he was also an excellentball handler, he became famous and highly regarded in hissport.BMW has also taken the better-different approach. Until fairlyrecently, Mercedes-Benz had the better luxury car market sewnup, so BMW -- a competitor with a parity product -- simplyrepositioned itself. Its tag, "the ultimate driving machine,"appeals to a younger crowd and gives them luxury with power andhandling. This is "hip luxury," which is different from theMercedes position, which could be summed up as "elegant luxury."And voilà: BMW became as hot and desirable as a cappucino on awintry morning.BMW marketers had both a strong sense of the position theywanted to hold and precisely defined their premium clients, thecréme de la créme within their target market. You can do this,too. Once you've figured out what position you can successfullygain in your business, ask yourself the following.Who is my premium client? Who would be the most enjoyableand rewarding to serve?What are this client's unique desires, needs, andchallenges? How can I best serve this client?What do I (or can I) provide in a unique way to help myclients achieve their business outcomes?How can I position myself as an expert in this market?With this information, you can tailor your marketing efforts --everything you say to people, any support materials you use,even the way you dress and act -- directly to this audience tohelp establish your position. This is the first step to "owningyour market."Positioning is like popularity: You have to be seen in the rightplaces and with the right people. This is more than socialclimbing: You learn more about your clients and they learn moreabout you when you frequent the same places, attend the samefunctions, join the same associations, be published in theirperiodicals, and develop products and services specifically forthem.Positioning is as much about who you are not as it is about whoyou are. Starbucks is not a cheaper and faster cuppa joe; it isan upscale, gourmet coffee experience. BMW is no old-styleluxury; it is stylish performance. Dennis Rodman is no gentlemanforward; he is the outrageous, extreme athlete who is arecognized celebrity even for people who don't know basketballfrom billiards.Do you want to win big? If so, have the courage to answer thesequestions clearly and define your own game: Who are you? Who areyou not? Who are your clients? These are the essential decisionsyou must make if you want to not only understand but own yourmarket.
Brilliant Branding Builds Business
Branding is more than product recognition or a simple logo. It is the overall intellectual and emotional impression people have when they think of your company and its product. It is a strong and consistent message about the value of your business.
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