We’ve all been there: a new product or service or technology comes out and we resist. ‘It’s unnecessary’, ‘it’s a fad’, ‘it will never last’. I’m not talking Betamax and HD DVD, but new fads and the bandwagons they create can be really beneficial and the positives are often overlooked.
Progress and brand awareness are rarely appreciated by businesses and are a practise of the multinationals. How many times have you heard someone say ‘Why do Coca-Cola need to advertise?’ And by asking that question you’re validating its marketing spend, talking about a product (as well as having it on every advertising platform available) maintains a high level of consumer awareness, which can then be used.
Think Toyota, until VW’s recent take-over it was the largest car manufacturer by volume sales in the world. An impressive feat. And what do people associate with Toyota? Its environmental practises and the Prius. So Toyota is really green, right? No. Whilst it is going in a good direction to tackle climate issues Toyota is, at the end of the day, a vehicle manufacturer and VMs are not good for the environment.
So how does this affect you and your business? Or indeed, bandwagons? Toyota’s bandwagon is the environment, it jumped on head first and pulled the world’s perceptions with it. And it worked – it made huge sales, which, at the end of the day, is what most companies are aiming to do. So what bandwagons could you jump on?
Technology is a big one, if you’re seen to be keeping up with technology, be it SMS updates, webcams in the workplace or a decent website, then consumers will believe you’re advanced as a company and in this industry trusting professionals, who seem more knowledgeable than the consumer, really counts.
Twitter and Facebook are also massively important to image, it doesn’t matter that nobody seems to know how to turn them into revenue; if people use them then you should be too.
Keeping the customer facing areas of your business tidy and fuss free can also go a long way to enhancing the initial impression a customer will get. The nature of bodyshops negates a long term relationship with a customer (unless they’re particularly accident prone) and therefore a good impression that they will share by word of mouth is vital.
In an age when volumes are down and progress is demanded (by consumers, work providers, insurers, employees etc.) perception is king. If you do an excellent job but show it badly you won’t receive the work you deserve, if you do a crap job but look amazing people will eventually cotton on. If you do a great job and show it well, then you’ll have a business for the future.
Progress for progress sake should not be avoided.