Over 60 member shops in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area have united once again under The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) to promote the benefits of doing business with independent auto repair shops through the “Ger to Know Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro” campaign.
The campaign runs June through November 2010. Nearly 500 radio commercials will air on top Twin Cities area radio stations with tag lines for participating shops. The program also created Facebook and Twitter pages, helping users to “Get to Know Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro” and recommend participating shops to friends.
"We know repeat and referral business from our best customers drives business, and social media helps promote that," said Tom Aldridge, AASP-MN Board member and owner of Dale Feste Automotive in Hopkins, Minnesota. Shops also receive customized referral cards with a free coffee offer promoting referrals from family and friends. AASP-MN also maintains a dedicated web search page to help consumers find participating shops in their area.
“We had great success launching the program last year,” said Aldridge, “Industry and customer surveys show people are more satisfied with work at independent shops than at auto dealerships. We’re going to continue telling that story and have extended the campaign by adding referral and social marketing elements."
AASP-MN Executive Director, Judell Anderson, says the campaign demonstrates the association can help members take advantage of marketing strategies and tools often too complex and costly for shops individually. “We’ve really surprised a lot of people with the impact we can generate for members serious about promoting their business with the help of their association.”
Dan Swenson has owned Alexander’s Import Auto Repair in south Minneapolis since 1996. He’s Immediate Past President of the AASP-MN Board of Directors and convinced many shop owners to support the program. “The strengths of the independent shop are our capabilities and relationships. So when we say ‘Get to Know Your Neighborhood Auto Repair Pro’, we want people to know independent shops can perform just about any repair or service the dealer can, and get to know and serve the customer better.”