Help your dealership stand out in a sea of competition with an effective branding strategy and great logo design.
If your business is adrift in an ocean of competition, looking to pull new clients onboard, consider an effective branding strategy as your navigation chart, and an effective logo as the lighthouse beacon, always recognizable while communicating a safe harbor.
Branding is the sum of all the experiences customers have with you, from advertising, to merchandising to the sales floor. As Entrepreneur Magazine reports, “Your brand is your promise to your customers. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors.”
The Small Business Administration (SBA) puts it more simply, defining your brand as the total experience customers have with your business from what you sell to how you do it.
The key to developing a solid brand is to know your own strengths, as well as understand your customers’ needs. The best brands grow from the place where your dealership’s strengths intersect with the needs or wants of your customers.
Identifying Your Brand
A dealership in a high-end retirement community may develop a brand that includes offering concierge services with the sale of customized high-end motorized RVs. A dealership in a family-centric, outdoor-friendly community may build a brand based on sales of reliable, affordable bumper-towed travel trailers, expandables, or pop-up tent trailers. A large, high-volume dealership may build its brand on offering a vast selection of units and no-pressure sales.
A long-standing dealership that sells RVs to multiple generations of the same family or is the go-to-place for entire neighborhoods is a dealer that has likely developed and nurtured a strong brand for honesty, reliability and affordability.
Think of the times you’ve eaten in a local restaurant and the owner has stopped by the table to check on your dining experience. The owner is carrying out the “family restaurant” brand and a commitment to quality. A restaurant that claims to be family owned and operated might soon lose its brand identity if they start using a rotating staff or have unfamiliar faces serving dinner and the owner is nowhere to be seen.
Once your dealership develops its brand, communicate and incorporate it in all aspects of the business – from the first person to answer a phone in the service department, to the lot assistants who keep all the units clean and shiny, all the way to the sales manager. Extend your brand to the signatures on your email communications, to what your sales staff wears on the dealership floor, to your dealership’s community involvement.
If your brand is not how you do business, it’s nothing more than a few words tacked on to the name of your company. Customers may be lured to your dealership once, but they won’t return or buy from you again if your business practices don’t support your brand.
If a brand is how you do business, your logo is your introduction, handshake and seal. A professionally-designed logo clearly communicates who you are and creates a first impression that opens the door to an enduring business relationship.
Because a great logo is key to customers recognizing your brand, invest in a professional designer to get it right the first time. A professional designer will know how to communicate your brand clearly across all your unique platforms – from print to phone to social media.
Your logo should be instantly recognizable, reflect your brand, and communicate how you do business while appealing to your target market. An effective logo, according to the SBA, creates an instant sense of affinity with your current and potential customers. Done right, a logo will help your company project professionalism and credibility.
A logo creates a lasting impression that adds incredible value to your business. Think of popular soft drinks, hotel chains, or computer companies whose logos are so ubiquitous, they may have more value than the products themselves. A golden arch or distinctive swoosh communicate their brands so effectively that words are not needed.
Consider Allstate Insurance as an example of bringing together the company’s message through branding and effective logo design, says Entrepreneur. The graphic cupped hands evoke a feeling of safety and security. “You’re in Good Hands” tagline instantly creates a sense of personal care and commitment. With a few minor tweaks, the logo can withstand the test of time and technology for decades.
Bringing it Together
Establish your brand as a map that not only guides customers to your business, but as a course your business follows internally. Bring everyone on board to deliver on your brand’s promise and watch your customer base and loyalty grow.
With a great brand in place, seek out an effective, professional logo design that communicates your brand instantly and reaches your target audience on an emotional level.
Deploy your logo and brand across multiple platforms for maximum reach. Resist temptations to tinker and tamper with your logo design and brand, and watch your brand grow naturally with your business.
For more advice on improving your dealership, brand, logo, and marketing strategy, contact the experts at NetSource Media. We have experienced designers who specialize in creating strategies and logos to help dealerships communicate their brand to the world. To see some of the work we’ve done for other dealerships, click here.