Just as automotive dealerships and manufacturers cultivate their corporate brand, so should automotive professionals.
Why? Simply because YOU (the people representing the product and the business) are what differentiates your dealership the most. Walk into any dealerships across the country, and you’ll find a nice building with the lights shining bright. You’ll have access to a TV to watch the game, WiFi to complete your work, and the offer of something warm or cold to drink. You’ll find cars, trucks and SUV’s that come in several colors, with different option packages. Oh, and let’s not forget about processes. Every dealership, at some level, has implemented a proven process they follow. Agreed?
Your building, amenities, vehicle selection and proven process will not effectively differentiate your business. Although, these are great ways to add value, they will not set you apart from your competition…but your people will. In fact, they’re doing it right now!
When an automotive professional truly embraces the concept of personal branding, they start with authenticity. A personal brand is developed through understanding your unique attributes (your strengths, motivated skills, values and passions), and using them to separate yourself from your peers. Choosing to cultivate a strong personal brand puts you in position to clearly communicate the unique promise of value that you have to offer your employer. Your personal brand is the master key to differentiating the dealership you work for.
Where automotive professionals go wrong is when they start believing that personal branding is a logo, or take on a bunch of marketing activities (writing articles, public speaking, etc). There are a lot of car people out there who think they’re creating a strong personal brand, but in reality they’re doing nothing more than personal marketing. They spend time creating a brand identity system, taglines, hashtags and logo, only to miss out on the core of personal branding: your unique promise of value.
It’s unique because there’s only one of you. It’s a promise because you are committed to doing it every day. Your commitment adds value to the people who make decisions about you.
Winning brands derive from your unique characteristics. This is why it’s critical to understand who you are and what you have to offer your customers before you design your marketing material. What are your strengths, goals, passions and values? The brand discovery process requires introspection. Taking the time to figure out who you are first, will help you stay focused on contributing your best professional self, so you can reap the rewards of long-lasting professional success.
Everyone has a brand worthy of remark. ~ Tom Peters