Jun 16, 2015

Your Team Forgets Your Brand Every Friday

“My number one job is to retell our brand story every single week,” says Jim Gilbert, CEO of Jim Gilbert’s Wheels and Deals.

Wheels and Deals is one of the largest independent used car dealership in eastern Canada, and it’s obvious why when you visit it. I had the pleasure of speaking at an event they hosted last week, and was blown away to see this company and its brand. (Here’s me sharing the stage with their mascot, Chrome the bulldog. He stole the show.)

Wheels and Deals sweats the little things: from the look and feel of their dealership; to the way their team interacts with customers; to how customers get a hug when they visit the dealership; to the company’s logo emblazoned on everything.

And when I say the logo is on everything — I mean everything. Even the sales reps’ shoes had “Canada’s Huggable Car Dealer” on them. One sales person told me, “If you can put a logo on it, Jim will find a way.”

But what delights me most about Wheels and Deals is the depth of their brand. It’s not a superficial marketing effort. The brand is rich, deep, and nuanced. And it is protected by the leadership team.

Jim says, “My job is to make sure the brand lives on beyond me. I repeat and reinforce our story and our beliefs every single week.”

Jim assumes his team forgets everything he taught them at the end of each week. It’s like someone hits the reset button on Friday at 5pm, and the job begins anew on Monday morning. “Every week I have to go back to basics and reinforce the brand. I share our stories and why we do what we do,” says Jim.

Jim may feel like a broken record at times, but he is motivated by a core belief, “If I miss a week it costs me two, and if I miss two weeks it costs me four.” This means it takes twice as long to get your team back on track if you stop reinforcing your brand.

“It’s the simplest things that go first — like the hugs,” says Jim. Those are the basics that create the Wheels and Deals’ customer experience and make it special, but they are also the uncomfortable behaviors that people may avoid. And if Jim and his team let those behaviors slip — even for a week — it takes twice as long to get everyone back on track.

Jim Gilbert’s message really resonates with me:

  1. Reinforce your brand weekly.
  2. The job never ends. Assume your team forgets everything you taught them at the end of each week.
  3. If you miss a week it costs you two. If you miss two weeks it costs you four. Every time you stop reinforcing your brand you will pay for it in multiples.

Are you reinforcing your brand weekly with your team?

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