Branding: The Most Underrated Auto Repair Print Marketing Tactic

We've helped many auto repair shops boost their car counts through print campaigns like these.

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Conceptual Minds | March 7, 2023

Branding has value.
I don’t mean this in the metaphorical sense. I mean it in dollars and cents. 
As entrepreneurs, we sometimes overestimate how much consumers want to maximize their dollars. While it may be a primary motivator for many, that’s not the case for everyone (Even when it is, it’s rarely their only motivator). Since we’re human animals, “little” things like understanding, respect, comfort, assurance, and protection have profound value.
Arguably more than—if not equal to—the power of a good discount.
Branding is how you embed this value in your bread-and-butter marketing: high-volume print advertising. Read on to learn how it works and how you can tailor your mailer’s offers, imagery, and messaging to take advantage.

Branding Means Creating Value That Doesn't Eat Bigger and Bigger Slices of Your Margins

While branding is a modern term, businesses have cemented reputations with creative language, ideas, and imagery since trade began. Investing resources in such work may appear like a waste to many, but differentiating your shop is a tactical decision that helps you avoid the pitfalls of competing on price.
Which pitfalls?
There are a lot, but the largest ones in our eyes inlclude:
  1. It leads to price wars you might not win
  2. You’re locked into low margins for the foreseeable future 
  3. Low prices often signal low quality to consumers
  4. The price-driven crowd is flakey and low spending
Instead, branding helps you compete on value, not price. Your competitors may offer similar services for lower prices, but you can offer far more value by better addressing your shared customers’ needswantsand disappointments.
All this adds up to a powerful package for a local foodie, with Wiygul positioned at the center of it all. 
We have a free giveaway to a high-end destination reachable only by car (The nearest train station is 30 miles away). Moreover, the restaurant is expensive enough to be cost-prohibitive even to the relatively high-income resident. The onlyhelp you might need is the kind of help that Wiygul specializes in (Auto repair). 
With one creative offer, Wiygul connects with another high-end service company, and, therefore, their affluent customer base of spendy and trendy locals. 
And through Wiygul’s branding, they were able to demonstrate the following three positive traits to this exclusive audience:
  1. Practical utility and cultural relevance 
  2. Generous enough to offer a free VIP experience; successful enough to afford it
  3. Understanding of what customers want while being caring enough to deliver it
That’s a tremendous value, all at a relatively modest expense. 
Now take a step back. 
If you were a consumer, would you go with them or any other local mechanic?
Me neither.

Imagery: Using Simple Distinguishable Images to Show You're Relatable

In this ad, we see a simple design. It may not appear to be doing much at first glance, but when an ad is done well, you don’t feel it working on you; you just “get it.”
This ad is done well.
The main image and colors convey the comfort and generosity of the season without using potentially-alienating religious imagery. A soft, soothing, and attention-grabbing shade of red is used as the primary color, along with a gradient of equally lovely dark shades and a calming, confident dark blue for the offer text.
The branding uses a lot of language connecting it to the audience. “Best offers” and “VIP” cards communicate elite exclusiveness. Additionally, the text box presents the included services almost like they’re presents inside one impressive auto repair service package. 
It’s perfect for the audience and the holiday season; attention-grabbing, comforting, and generous. 

Messaging: Lower the Barrier to Entry for Their Hopes and Dreams

There’s a little context behind this add, too. Designed during the early stages of the pandemic, the value here isn’t just providing a range of discounts on commonly-used services. It’s in presenting a larger package aimed to help drivers get back on the road and enjoy life.
Any other ad might have used “staycation” instead of inventing a new term. The ad would still work while giving roughly the same message, but we’re not just trying to promote our promotion. We’re trying to cultivate a distinct image by showing we care about our client’s hopes, frustrations, and concerns. 
We’re playing the role of protector, looking out for them not only with cheap and accessible repairs, but also by caring enough to present them in a way that addresses new challenges in our lives.  
Since Wiygul makes it easy to get back on the road (safely), the viewer can adventure almost anywhere. That opportunity is worth far more than the repair service’s cost. 

Advertising Without Branding is Leaving Money on the Table


Print ads are stellar high-volume car count catalysts, but they’re helpful for far more. Embedding your print ads with branded imagery, offers, and language enhances the impact, placing your shop in a special category of businesses that treat their customers very well. 

Learn About Conceptual Minds

As automotive industry veterans, the Conceptual Minds team are experts at growing car counts through effective and personable marketing. If you are unsure of your current marketing strategy and want some guidance, reach us at 877.524.7696.

Need help earning higher car counts & standing out from the competition?

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