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The Straight Soap

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Managing Editor Phillip Lawless isn’t afraid to tell it like it is and give you the straight soap on what he sees, and hears about in the world of carwashing.

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Blog: A second Veterans Day?

April 17, 2013
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For many carwash operations around the world, Veteran's Day has become a busy, busy holiday. The free washes on Nov. 11 honor the soldiers that served in the Armed Forces, and the events have proven extremely popular with the public. While showing appreciation for the men and women that helped keep the U.S. (and other countries) safe, car care operations have improved their marketing reach and attracted hundreds of new customers to their locations as well.

As the news has started to trickle in on various Earth Day events and carwash specials, it appears that this themed holiday may be another perfect fit for carwash owners. Founded in 1977, Earth Day has become a yearly event where participants take time to remember the importance of environmental preservation. While definitely different than Veterans Day, an on-site Earth Day celebration with unique specials could end up being marketing gold for a carwash business.

Yesterday, PC&D reported on a carwash in St. Louis would be giving away free washes to hybrid drivers on April 22. Today, the Brown Bear carwash chain announced one of its locations will donate $1 from every Earth Day wash to the Mountains to Sound Greeway Trust. Both received media attention by offering different specials on this holiday. In an industry where conservation is a smart business choice, and sometimes required by local government, Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity for operators to do a bit of boasting.

Most importantly, any planned celebrations should communicate to customers the benefits of modern carwashing. Water reclaim, bio-degradable soaps, solar power and recycling — carwashes take steps everyday to be more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Clue your customers in on this information and give them a reason to remember your wash before choosing to driveway wash.

An Earth Day marketing push could include a number of attention grabbing offers, including:

  • Free basic washes for cars painted green;
  • Recycling drop offs;
  • A 'wipe out driveway washing' celebration or event; and
  • Educational tours to highlight on-site conservation technology.

Many carwash owners have invested in the most efficient technology, and most want their markets to know the benefits the improvements provide. For these operators, Earth Day may well end up being another day for businesses to roll out the green carpet and welcome in customers with a selection of offerings and specials.