AKRON-According to their horoscopes, Geminis are supposedly adaptable and versatile. In the case of Goodyear's Gemini service network, you can throw progressive into the mix.
The Gemini progam is heading into its third year with guns blazing. The plan for the upcoming year includes a national advertising campaign featuring celebrity spokespeople, interactive point-of-sale materials and an interior remodeling package.
Also on the horizon, according to a Goodyear spokesman, are increased training hours in new training modules, a new facility audit process, new co-branding opportunities and purchasing programs.
The best sign for the Gemini program may be its growth. There are currently 1,787 locations, 1,153 of which are independent. That represents a 6 percent increase in independent locations since December, the spokesman said. Company locations are down a bit, mainly because of the closing of Brad Ragan/Carolina Tire locations.
Goodyear attributes some of Gemini's growth to ``enhanced support programs...including additional advertising, co-op earnings and national account service sales improvements,'' the spokesman said.
``Additionally, with the Gemini advisory board's recommendation, Goodyear closed enrollment into Gemini at year's end. This spurred a flurry of activity for those dealers who were on the fence as to whether to join.''
The spokesman said that Goodyear's fee schedule for the Gemini network has been increased slightly heading into the third year of the program. That increase, he said, can be attributed to costs of programs to involve Gemini dealers in the following year's business plan.
An advisory board within the Gemini network votes each year on what programs will be included and how much it will cost to participate.
The company will look to further enhance its market share with a recently launched ad campaign that features the likes of national sports radio personalities Jim Rome and Dan Patrick, along with radio commentators Paul Harvey and Charles Osgood and night-time musical radio host Delilah.
In addition, the spokesman said, interactive panels will be used in store showrooms to educate customers about automotive systems.
The average Gemini store generates approximately 68 percent of its revenue from service and 32 percent from tires, the spokesman said.
That breakdown, he added, is ``fairly consistent'' at Gemini auto center locations throughout the country.