Brand is more than your name and logo. Your brand is who you are to your customers. It’s what they think about when your dealership is mentioned in conversation or when they drive past your store.
A focused brand is important because it forces your business to consistently “say” the same thing. If your brand is all over the place, then customers don’t know what to think. So how do you create a dealership brand that’s consistent and shows who you are? You define a mission to guide your business. Here are 5 steps to get you started.
Who are you? Why are you in business? What sets you apart? You probably asked these questions at the start of your business. Your answers will get you to the core of your brand.
As a reflection exercise, start a list of characteristics that apply to your business and how your customers see you. From personality, to benefits, to goals- get the team together and brainstorm a bunch of ideas and write them down, no matter how silly they may seem.
So now you have your list. Of these ideas, highlight the ones that you like best. If the highlighted portions of the list already apply to your dealership, that’s great. If they’re goals you reach for, even better.
You’re trying to hone in on the things you do right, what you’d like to achieve, the benefits of your business, and the strengths of your people. These highlights are your core goals and values.
3. Write a Mission Statement
Take the goals and values you’ve just highlighted and use them to create a mission statement. The point of a mission statement is to have an internal definition of who you are and what you’re here to do.
Here’s an example of a dealership mission statement to get you thinking – this dealership’s highlight list includes quality, value, integrity, enthusiasm, teamwork, ethics, and excellence:
“Our mission is to earn our customer’s loyalty by delivering sales and service experiences with high quality, excellent value, integrity and enthusiasm. We will function as a team, work ethically, and focus on meeting and striving to exceed the expectations of our customers.”
4. Follow the Brand Mission
Once established, your team’s actions should align with and work toward your mission. This can apply to employee relationships, phone etiquette, behavior when customers are (and are not) present, and even the way you write emails. Think of the mission as your business’s dogma.
Your mission is something that you and your employees can reference for consistency. The mission establishes a standard to hold yourselves to and is a constant reminder of the goals and values of your organization. Following this mission lays the groundwork for a consistent team and focused brand.
5. Reinforce Goals and Values
Now that you’re following the mission internally, get your mission out there! Customers will be drawn to your brand when your goals and values resonate with them. Some places you can market your mission, goals, and values are:
- Business cards
- Front desk
- Tagline or slogan
- Team t-shirts
- Ads, social media, and more!
As you show who you are to the world, consistency is key. Stick with the mission and your brand will stay focused, effective, and professional!