In my line of business, I travel a lot; therefore, I constantly find myself in areas I am not familiar with. Traveling to new places is a thrilling adventure for a lot of people. But, at my age, and considering how much I have traveled over the years, traveling — and thus experimenting with new places to eat — is not fun. It is because of this fact that I choose to eat at fast-food chains, such as McDonald’s, when I am on the road.
Why do I eat at McDonald’s? Because of “the law of familiarity,” which means people like to associate with things they are familiar with. I am familiar with McDonald’s. I know, regardless if I am in California, New York or Florida, a cheeseburger at McDonald’s is going to taste the same.
This is the power of what a brand can do for business, and it can do it on a local or regional level — or in McDonald’s situation, an international level.
For the purpose of this article, I would like to go a little deeper on this concept and share with you how this can affect your carwash, detailing business and/or any kind of business you may operate.
In order to establish your business brand, you need a USP. Well, what exactly is a USP? This is where it gets interesting — and where you can learn how to make more money, which is what business is all about.
A USP, or unique selling proposition, is your business’ hook. In other words, a USP differentiates your business from everyone else in the market. A USP is also how businesses make their top line of sales increase.
If you don’t have a USP or a hook to set your company apart from the rest of the pack, then why should consumers give you their business? And, without a USP, you haven’t established your business as a brand.
Numerous studies have been done about the power of brands and how they affect our daily lives, so I am not going to address the strength in brands for this article. But, I am going to stress the importance of differentiating your business with your own USP.
Studying examples of success
Let’s turn our attention back to McDonald’s. This company used to be known for its speed in preparing and delivering economical food. However, since the fast-food chain has increased the size of its menu, McDonald’s is now more known for its consistency.
Next, let’s take a look at Domino’s Pizza. This company’s USP and claim to fame is delivery in 30 minutes or less. And when it comes to FedEx, when someone’s package absolutely has to be at a specific location the next day, oftentimes he or she immediately thinks of FedEx.
What about The Walt Disney Co.? Visit one of its parks, and you will see that Disney focuses on creating the best experience for its customers with the characters/costumes and the cleanliness of the parks.
You can also find good examples of USPs by looking at the businesses in your local community, such as the drive-thru window at a bank that offers candy or lollipops to children. Also, look at the business that encourages customers to bring their pets with them when they shop and offers dog treats at the checkout counter — another USP example at work.
Whether new to the carwashing industry or a veteran owner, make sure you have the answers to these two important questions: What you are doing to enhance your business as a brand? And, what is your USP?
Why should a prospective customer visit your car care business instead of the one down the street? Even with the fast-paced, on-the-go mentality of today, customers still enjoy knowing you appreciate their business; and if they are reminded of this fact, they will more than likely remain loyal to your business.
Even if your car care business is running smoothly, it’s important to continually work hard to make sure you always stand apart from the rest. Maybe your business outshines everyone in town because no one cleans bumpers on a vehicle better than your crew, for instance.
Look at your business from a customer’s perspective, and ask, “Why should I patronize this business?” Back when I operated retail facilities, I used to walk my managers out into the parking lot and ask them to look at our store and explain why a prospective customer would want to patronize our site. Try this exercise at your own business; I bet you will be surprised at what you discover.
Terry Monroe is an author of two books and numerous articles. He serves as an advisor, consultant, speaker, a professional intermediary and a market maker for privately held companies, as well as assists in market valuations and has been involved in the sale of more than 500 businesses. In his 30-plus years of service, he has owned and operated more than 36 different businesses. To learn more about his “Expensive Experience,” he can be contacted at www.TerryMonroe.com.