It’s been over 30 years since my previous advertising agency principal (and mentor) established his criteria for gauging client compatibility:
1. Is the client a good business, delivering a product and/or service as promised? If not, no amount of creative advertising will help the business.
2. Is the client’s business model sound, with the willingness and ability to expand?
3. Can we have fun with it?
Those criteria are the reasons I enjoy our relationship with franchised dealers. Most dealerships are still owned by individuals, or the second, third and, even, fourth generations of the original dealer. The reason many of them are successful is because, rather than concentrating on delivering sales of new or used vehicles, they concentrate on always improving their customers’ experience. One can easily recognize the dealerships that concentrate on satisfying their customers. These dealerships have high employee retention as well as customer retention. They are involved (and, most often, are leaders) in their local communities, chambers, churches, schools, and civic organizations. They are quick to learn their customers’ preferences and then react accordingly.
One of our favorite clients, Weber Motor Company (a third-generation dealer family), has continued to deliver the same tradition of service for 79 years as a Ford dealer in Cuero, Texas. Although there are two other franchised dealerships in the community of slightly over 7,000 people, Weber Motor Company is the only locally-owned and operated dealership. They simply follow the business model started by their grandfather and aunt in 1937. As technology and media habits change, their concern has always been to make it as easy as possible for their customers to communicate with them ensuring a strong and long-lasting relationship.
An excellent indicator of their customer appeal is Ford Motor Company’s awarding them the Ford President’s Award, which is based solely on their customers’ responses to factory surveys. Weber Motor Company received the award for the past four years in a row, making them part of a very elite and small percentage of Ford dealers.
If ever there was a litmus test for a dealer’s success… it’s not so much the number of cars and trucks sold, but rather the legacy of customer and community relationships that persevere over 79 years. So does Weber Motor Company pass the criteria for a good client? You bet! And we continue to have fun in relaying the family’s character and personality in all media.
Since we, too, are a family business (although without the 79-year legacy), Bucket Works appreciates the Weber business model, and we strive to incorporate it in our everyday operations. In this ever –texting, tweeting and snapchatting society, you must remember it always comes down to the relationship. Pick up the phone, shake a hand or even share a hug with customers AND your family alike.
Congratulations to Weber Motor Company of Cuero, Texas, and thanks for our long relationship and the continued fun!