Tire Pros continued its focus on its“One with the Pros” mission with the release of its official dealer playbook and other initiatives that it hopes will better unify its franchises at its 2018 National Dealer Business Conference Feb. 8-10 in San Antonio.
After a year of hard work, planning and active involvement by the 40+ tire dealers who serve on the brand’s four mission-based councils (groups introduced at the 2017 meeting), the 2018 Tire Pros National Dealer Business Conference unveiled the results of their efforts.
The four councils are designed to allow dealer members to shape the direction of the 715 member locations of the Tire Pros franchise, part of American Tire Distributors (ATD), the largest distributor of replacement tires in North America. The 700-plus Tire Pros franchisees make up a small but important fraction of the approximately 70,000 ATD customers served.
The dealer-led mission-based councils cover areas most likely to benefit independent tire dealers. These include: Marketing; Customer Experience; Training, and Technology. In addition to the four topic-specific councils, the Tire Pros National Dealer Council shapes overreaching policy for the soft franchise organization. As part of the organization’s goals regarding consistency across all member locations, the councils introduced its new “2018 Official Playbook.”
The playbook is a compilation of customer engagement and business operational best practices for better efficiency and increased profitability. “Policies” (required by shops within the franchise) and “procedures” (recommended actions to support a policy rule) include online branding and image, phone skills, interior and exterior expectations, employee image, customer interactions and more. The end goal is consistency across Tire Pros independently owned locations, which they hope will increase consumer brand recognition and business value across the network.
Also introduced was a new “Hassle-Free Guaranteed” marketing message.
While consistency across the independent tire dealership locations within the Tire Pros organization was met with enthusiasm by many attending, some tire dealers at the event seemed hesitant to embrace the new requirements that require them to abide by the new rules and requirements. But for those in the ATD and Tire Pros organization, this alignment a necessary step to build the brand and protect independent dealers from the industry changes upon us.
“Being one with the Pros is really that partnership with Tire Pros and you, our best customers in the marketplace,” said Ron Sinclair, ATD’s senior vice president of retail strategy and partnerships, “and bringing to bear the resources, the tools, the technologies that you need to obviously to grow — grow your sales and ultimately be more profitable.”
Other highlights from the conference included:
- A new television spot to launch in the second quarter of 2018, part of a national campaign that will include digital banners, video, print and in-store collateral to build and reinforce Tire Pros brand awareness among consumers.
- Recognition that consumer awareness for the franchise is low, which opens an opportunity to build stronger brand recognition and trust, based on a unified and united go-to-market approach.
- New “ProStars” dealer evaluation program to encourage stronger performance and better dealer engagement within the ATD-based franchise program. This includes non-negotiable expectations and standards for participation as a Tire Pros dealer.
- New benchmarking tools to measure performance against regional and national benchmarks – and against self-imposed goals by individual tire dealers.
- An increase in Continental program compliance by 10 points in 2017, from 64% to 74%
- An increase in Tire Pros credit card applications with partner Synchrony Bank. Credit card applications were up 6% in 2017 and sales through the card were up 15%.
This article will be updated.