You don’t sell a brand; you are a brand

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Updated Apr 1, 2020

The aftermarket is filled with brands.

Truck models are brands. So are engines, transmissions, brake components and lights.

Everything. Even your facility.

In the final panel discussion of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Dialogue on Monday in Las Vegas, Mark McKay of Kenworth Sales Company, Edward Neeley of Truck Supply Co. of South Carolina and Geoff Garafola of Inland Truck Parts discussed how their business work to grow their brands — and their businesses — in their respective markets.

In the case of each business, customer service is the far and away top driver for positively building their brands.

“We all have a brand no matter what [brands] we sell,” says Garafola. Your brand is your business; its how you service your customers and the “total experience [you offer] for your customers” that grows your brand, he says.

Neeley says he’s spent the last decade working tirelessly to build the Truck Supply Co. of South Carolina brand. The method is simple — “give the customers what they want when they want it” — and its help the company grow dramatically.

McKay says Kenworth Sales Company also grows its brand through its customer interaction, relying on a well-educated and conscientious sales team to respond to all customer requests.

But as the industry moves forward and strategies change, each panelist notes that their businesses and branding strategies also will need to evolve. On the topic of online parts sales, the panelists acknowledge that even if the Internet is the wave of the future, maintaining a brand will still require attentive customer service.

Not every part will be sold online.

“Customers have to know what they need,” and not everyone does, says Neeley. When they don’t know, they are going to rely on the brands and distributors they trust to get them the right component.

“We will present customers a solution” to their problem, Garafola says.

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