Across all segments of the economy, branding builds equity. Branding for your dealership is no different.
Like it or not, you, your employees, your product offerings and services all reflect on your brand. And people in your community and your current and prospective customers all have perceptions of this brand. In their minds, your dealership represents something – good or bad.
For dealers, a healthy brand can produce several benefits:
Distinguish yourself from the competition. With the recent effects of lower commodity prices on farm income and big box offerings expanding across the rural landscape, competition continues to become more intense. Setting yourself apart from other dealerships will become even more important to gain and retain business. Customers have a variety of choices, and evidence has repeatedly demonstrated that they are more likely to buy from brands they trust.
A buffer against fluctuations in demand. The strongest brands are always the most resilient during economic downturns, whether they result from decreased demand or lower commodity prices.
Command a premium on the open market. This is where intrinsic brand value resides—in the consumer’s willingness to pay more for the brands they know and trust.
What does this mean for your dealership? Primarily, it means that simply offering the latest model of equipment isn’t enough anymore. If you’re interested in long-term financial stability, you need to consider how to position your brand and how to successfully communicate it to your customers.
Dealers can employ many different strategies to accomplish these goals. You may provide specialized services, which brings specific brand distinctions. Or maybe you set yourself apart by focusing brand efforts on customer safety or employee training programs. Consider what you can do to set your dealership apart. What makes you proud of the way you do business? Is there a problem you can solve for your customers? What do you want them to think about your dealership?
Just as important as defining your brand is sharing your brand message with your employees. They’re not just employees. They’re the face of your brand. Do they embody your brand? How they portray your brand to current and potential customers can shape perceptions and your reputation.
Invest the time now to define your brand, articulate this brand identity to your entire team, and most importantly, live out your brand each and every day, and you’ll see returns that can positively impact your bottom line.
Wondering how your brand strategy compares to other ag dealers? Take this quick quiz to find out.
This article was contributed by Barnstorm, a business unit of Osborn Barr, and dedicated to helping ag dealers build their brands and grow their businesses.