Repair Shop Marketing Message Part II: Branding Your Repair Shop
In Repair Shop Marketing Message Part I, we focused on your marketing message and how to craft it to target your ideal customer. This post will build on that idea a little bit, as we dive into how you can go about building a brand for your diesel repair shop.
You might be thinking, "But I've already got a brand! What more do I need?" And while it's true that you probably have a name and a logo for your shop, have you thought about what your overall brand actually is and what it's communicating to your potential customers? That's the purpose of your brand—to show your ideal client who you are and how you differ from other repair shops.
Why should I worry about my shop's brand?
Your brand is what sets you apart from other diesel repair shops, and a great one can actually help drive business. It is the way that you connect with your customers before they even set foot in your shop.
Through your brand, you can communicate who you are as a business and what your customer stands to gain by choosing your shop. It's based not only on how you see yourself as a business, but how you want people to see you. It gives you the ability to create different associations in the customers' minds, whether that be quality, reliability, savings, or whatever message you're trying to get to stick. You can use your branding to remind your customers of your marketing message every time they see your shop logo.
When you think about your brand, you should consider where, how, and to whom you are marketing. Your goal is to reach your target customer wherever they are most likely to see your advertisements. Proper branding can make your shop pop in these different advertising channels, allowing you to both market to trucks on the highway in need of immediate repair and to those looking online for a repair shop.
So how should I brand my shop?
It all begins with thinking about your target customer. Customers respond best to things they can relate to. What are your customers' pains? How can you respond to them? Maybe you have the fastest repair time, or the most certified technicians in the area. Think about both what makes your shop unique and how that solves a problem for your customer. This creates a positive connection in their mind and sets up a foundation for the value of your brand. When they see your logo or shop name, they'll instantly begin to think of these positive traits you've incorporated into your branding.
This is why your brand and your marketing message are important. They are very closely tied together. Your message needs to be strong enough to connect you with your customers, emotionally, philosophically, or economically. And your brand strategy needs to remind them of this message and those connections.
It's important that you think about who you are as a business—what is your philosophy, what products do you offer, what qualities do you want people to associate with you, and what do they currently think of you? Doing this kind of deep thinking can point you in the right direction when it comes to developing your brand.
Speaking of your logo, the design of your brand is one of the most important aspects. Your logo appears on everything having to do with your shop, so it's important to really think about how it will look on many different mediums—business cards, shirts, signs, etc.
Keeping the logo simple and clean can help ensure that no matter where it's posted, it'll look good. An article by Ratchet+Wrench touches on this as well. Their experts mention that a busy logo can look really cluttered when made smaller, like when it's placed on a business card.
It should also be visually striking and use a graphic that says something about your shop. Your logo should tell your customer something about who you are and what you do—so maybe include your name, or use the graphic to let them know what kind of repairs you do.
So think about your current logo. Is it clean and easy to see, even when small? Is it easy to make the connection between it and your business? If not, it might be time for you to rework your logo into something that better communicates to your customer. If they don't think of your shop when they see your logo, it's not working as part of your overall branding.
Using your brand
It might sound obvious, but after you've gone through the trouble of evaluating and setting up a brand for your diesel repair shop, make sure you stick to it—and use it.
Your logo should be on everything that has to do with your shop, from the sign on the building to the top of the paper you use to write estimates. People should see it and instantly think of your shop and the messaging you've developed. They can't do this if you don't use your logo.
Make sure you're staying consistent with the color and font you use. It doesn't have to be complicated. Again, a lot of times, simpler is better. But it should still be something that customers and potential customers can associate with your shop. It helps to bring awareness to your brand, as well as working to establish authority for your shop. If you're not consistent with the branding and style, people will have a harder time remembering you and you'll get lost in the shuffle. This consistency can help build your customer base and establish loyalty.
Overall, establishing a good, clear brand is vital to the success of your business. Without it, customers won't know who you are or what you stand for. Your brand is just one part of a marketing plan, so be sure to incorporate it as part of your overall strategy.
For more help growing your diesel repair shop, check out our Repair Shop Value Program!