"Ultimately, at the end of the day, we're stronger if we work together to be the best franchises in the industry," said Perry Leonard, president, chief operating officer and owner of Car Concept Inc., a chain of nine Tire Pros locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Mr. Leonard is chairman of the National Dealer Council, which oversees the MBCs.
Last year's theme of "Being One with the Pros" continued this year, emphasizing "the whole concept of unity," according to Mr. Sinclair. "Ultimately ATD is successful if our core dealers are successful."
Each of the four MBCs — comprising eight dealers representing various regions of the country — are helping to drive that success. Each presented a course of action pertaining to its core focus: marketing, training, technology and customer experience.
According to Quick Chadwick, director of marketing services for Tire Pros, the marketing message from individual Tire Pros dealers was "all over the place."
In an effort to streamline the message and "build the value of the Tire Pros brand," Mr. Chadwick said, the mission-based marketing council reallocated some national advertising funds and developed a brand platform that will launch this quarter that delivers the same, consistent message throughout.
"We want a hassle-free experience," Mr. Chadwick said.
So what can a consumer expect from a hassle-free experience?
"It's how you deliver a service in a way to make it as convenient as possible for the consumer — what I need, when I need it," Mr. Sinclair said.
"Most people...really want an element of trust — when someone says you need a set of tires or new set of brake pads or need this work done, they trust that person and that retailer.
"One of the benefits our Tire Pros dealers have is that they've been in the market. This is their business, this is their livelihood. And being that local independent gives many of them one-up on the trust component. Now if you can wrap in processes and technologies that enable them to develop and deliver that in a hassle-free manner, that's a great combination."
The suite of marketing assets includes elements for television, print, radio, direct mail, digital banners, online video and in-store displays.
All Tire Pros dealers who attended the conference were asked to film a customized tag that can become part of a Tire Pros commercial, called the "Return to Simplicity," that was previewed during the event.
"It's about consistency, at a national, regional and individual store basis," said Lynda Kester of Big Red Tire Pros of Lincoln, Neb. "When we are all singing the same song of music, and we're all doing it together, we have a strong message we can bring."
"In 2018, we will continue to work together as one voice, one brand, one team," Mr. Chadwick said. "We are one."
Mr. Sinclair said Tire Pros had discussed developing a manual for its members as far back as July 2016. The mission-based customer experience council made the notion a reality, compiling a "playbook" that offers direction and policies on how to operate a Tire Pros facility "in a manner that will maximize customer acquisition/retention; assure operational efficiencies and optimize profitability.