Why Knowing and Living Your Brand Matters

Last month we spoke about brand perception and developing your brand. In the continuation of Brand Matters we will look into consumer perceptions and the importance of regularly monitoring your performance.

Perception is Reality

It starts with what consumers see and perceive as they drive in front of your wash. Is your location’s name and the words ‘car wash’ prominently displayed and visible on your road or building sign? Your signage should be attractive and inviting to the casual driver. Do other lot signs invite and entice the driver to get their car washed? Better solutions providers can offer advice and marketing materials to help drive your brand.

Your entire car wash location should reflect your brand, “We’re the best quality wash in town!” Are your landscaping, lot and buildings attractive, clean and well maintained? Your signage should always be up-to-date, clean, attractive and easy to read. Does everything invite the customer to drive up and place their order? Making sure the bays are always clean and well lit will go a long way to creating the “quality perception” in your customers’ minds that ultimately leads to brand loyalty.

Another critically important aspect is the customer service and purchase assistance the consumer receives while patronizing your business. Your people will be the key. Do they smile, greet the customer and say thank you? Do they appear clean, are friendly and know how to present your business in a way your customer says yes? If you have an unattended facility make sure your wash menus and supporting POP materials explain some of the benefits of your top packages and invite customers to select the best value package for their money.

Monitor Your Performance

Don’t forget to monitor your performance on an ongoing basis. Do you deliver what they are expecting? Is your equipment functioning at 100%? Is your equipment in good working order? Does your soap deliver the goods and wow them with your super shine and sealant? Does the rinse water explode off the car and do your dryers dry the car? At the end of the process, don’t forget to say thank you for their patronage and invite them to come back.

Another way to monitor your brand performance is to ask your customers what they think of your wash. Why do they come here? If you are doing your job correctly they should mimic back your brand in their own words.

Finishing touches bring that extra value and pride and result in long-term brand loyalty to your business. Support your neighbors and help your community. Work on a charity wash program and partner with local organizations around you to offer that added value. Do you offer loyalty, coupon or gift programs to encourage customers to come again and invite their neighbors and relatives to give it a try? How about green products and helping protect and preserve your local streams, lakes and environment?

All of this is your brand. Every last bit of it says who you are, how you are different and why consumers should stop into your wash rather than the one down the street. Remember, it only takes one bad experience to get the customer to try someone else and not return. Don’t give your competitors that opportunity.

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