Brand is not just your logo. Your brand is your promise and what you stand for.
5 key strategies for establishing a company culture that supports your brand
On February 4th, 40 dealers attended Strategy Mob’s Workshop 001 in Toronto. Co-sponsored by the Trillium Automotive Dealers Association, the event was developed to assist Dealer Principals and their management teams to better manage the cultural and digital transformation of the automotive industry, including how to create a culture that supports your brand. Participants weighed in on what works in their businesses and how it can work for yours.
Five ways to show your brand is your promise
1. Talk about brand from the beginning.
Move away from the “you’ll learn about our brand while you work here” mentality. Focus should be put on your dealership’s brand as early as the first interview with a prospective employee. Is the applicant a fit with the brand and culture? Later, when you are performing employee reviews, ask whether an employee has raised your brand’s profile. Connect and measure. Do they understand what the brand is and are they living it?
2. Your brand must be tangible and actionable.
Your brand is your promise to your shoppers, customers, and staff. It’s what defines you and your organization. You can be many things, i.e. people-focused, family run, but it’s important to have a focused message that you can iterate to your customers and employees. Create a tangible word or phrase that can be acted on, and imprinted quickly and effectively on your organization, and then on to your customers.
3. How you deliver your promise is what makes you different.
Buying a vehicle is an emotional experience, one that gives you the opportunity to imprint on to your customer and leave a lasting impression—whether it’s sharing a smile the minute they walk through your doors, providing a free car wash with every service, or going the extra mile to deliver a vehicle when they need it. You’ll see a positive impact on the bottom line if you focus and align your goals with your brand.
4. Create employee loyalty.
There are tangible results when you create your distinct brand—referrals. You want customers to tell people to buy at your dealership. You want employees to tell people to come work at your dealership. Are your employees happy, fitting in, or buying into your dealership’s brand and culture? Customers won’t be happy if your employees aren’t happy. When employees are invested in the bigger picture of the dealership’s brand, customers will often pay more for the same service. The only difference is happier employees. Consider employee recognition programs that provide acknowledgement of a job well done, or valuing what they value, such as holding community events that raise money for causes they support. If your brand is “family” you have to show it.
5. The more you talk about it, the more it will become real.
You, and your employees, have to deliver your brand every day. For this to be possible, the leadership needs to set the example of what the brand and culture means for the dealership. Employees will make the right decisions when they are empowered by management to execute a clear definition of the dealership’s brand. Management should be asking themselves, “Have we given our team the information they need, such as case studies or examples, to initiate change?”