Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Just say AYES to on-brand thinking

In my quest for a topic to discuss this week, I came upon a very good organization that assists auto dealerships with staff training. That organization is called the "Automotive Youth Educational Systems" or AYES. Apparently 4,500 dealers participate in this organization to help stem the tide of service technicians leaving for greener pastures. Dealerships face a 60% turnover rate, mostly because they aren't happy. Now here is a brand problem - unhappy stake holders.

Throughout the United States there are 417 schools involved with AYES. The organization provides training through processes involving job shadowing, mentoring, employability skills and hands-on training. The goal is to prepare students for jobs at an entry level position. And the industry is supporting this effort with the involvement of 14 major players in the automotive world including Honda, Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, GM and Toyota to name a few.

This effort is fantastic on a lot of levels. It is a good brand story if there ever was one. In an industry soaked in horror stories, this effort is a breath of fresh air. It has community involvement, corporate leadership, youth opportunities, employment, and educational benefits for starters. If a dealership is not involved with this group they might consider it if for nothing other than to put a brighter shine on their brand. Once involved, the dealership would be smart to make their markets keenly aware of their efforts. It is a great PR opportunity.

The fact that the car companies embrace AYES is a testament to changing attitudes within the industry. We have all read (and written) some pretty sad brand stories in this series on dealerships, but here is a silver lining worth investigating. As a side note for any dealerships listening, it seems this educational process actually reduces turnover and allows you to make additional profits as well.

Great branding is all about changing your corporate environment to reflect your positioning strategy and thus grow your sales and service products as a result. I think you will agree that AYES would be a great catalyst to get you moving in that direction.


Anonymous said...

Interesting post. I guess most dealerships face a branding problem because their employees don't really identify with the brand of cars they carry. For example, I saw one owner of a Vauxhall dealership driving a Jaguar. That somehow feels wrong to me.

Ed Roach said...

Just imagine how their employees feel. Where is the confidence in their product? If asked about it they'd probably say it's their spouses car - like that would make it better. Many businesses think brand is nothing but advertising spin.

Ed Roach said...

For some reason all the comments are not posting, I'm checking this out,

Readers: You're not being removed. There is a glitch somewhere. I believe it has to do with "Anonymous". Because all spam uses anonymous, blogger appears to paint everyone with the same brush.


Ed Roach said...

For example here is a comment from today:

Awesome website, I hadn't noticed brandcorral.blogspot.com earlier in my searches!
Keep up the great work!

I'd like to thank this writer and simply say "spread the word".

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please answer to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if a staff member here at brandcorral.blogspot.com could post it.


Ed Roach said...

Anonymous, as you say it appears to be taken down. Here is the link to their page though:

I hope this helps.


More blogs about http://brandcorral/blogspot.com.