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Editor's Notebook

Brand Strength Serves as Best Offense & Defense

Last month’s cancel culture incident, resulting from President Donald Trump’s tweet: “Do not buy Goodyear Tires – They announced a ban on MAGA hats,” is a good reminder of how news spread via the internet and social media can trigger a wave of backlash, but also how quickly a company’s reputation can be attacked, challenged and scrutinized. This resulting brand fragility can have a ripple effect throughout the consumer landscape. Recovery from this rising tide can strongly hinge on a brand’s equity and customer loyalty, which was the case with Goodyear dealers operating businesses at the local level.

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Brand equity refers to the importance of a brand in the customer’s eyes — an estimate of how much a brand is worth, according to Prophet, a global brand strategy consulting firm. “It is a set of assets or liabilities in the form of brand visibility, brand associations and customer loyalty that add or subtract from the value of a current or potential product or service driven by the brand.”

Protecting your dealership’s brand and boosting loyalty — with customers who believe in the value of your brand’s offerings — will triumph over any threat, such as the one launched in the President Trump vs. Goodyear case.
So, how do you effectively safeguard your brand?

Exceed expectations. Bridging the gap between customer hesitation and consumer confidence is reflective of the image and “perceived” value that your business can deliver. Deliver service that is second to none and you will win your customers’ loyalty for ongoing tire replacements and vehicle repairs.

First impressions. Create a memorable, positive vehicle repair “experience,” from the moment the customer walks through the front door to the time the bill is paid — one that will turn customers into raving fans and advocates for your business.

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“Solutions” provider. Your reputation, as well as your customers’ trust and respect, are riding on the quality and efficiency of every repair. The more ways you can ease your customers’ vehicle repair burden, the more they will reward you with repeat business and abundant referrals.

All of these criteria serve to reinforce and protect your brand and its strength in your customers’ eyes. Every part of the service experience you deliver should reflect quality, excellence and professionalism, as you work together as a team to make customers return to your dealership with confidence and commitment.

Everyone on your team must realize their role in the customer-for-life equation. Be proactive in creating a culture where your employees are happy, motivated, appreciated and fully engaged in your mission. And, they will comprise the army helping protect your dealership’s brand against any attack — whether it’s launched from near or afar, or even out of left field.

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