Are you ready to take the first step in your auto shop marketing? Beyond location and establishing quality customer service, experts will tell you that the most important part of your success will be your branding. Branding tells the story of your repair shop. It communicates the personality of all of your marketing efforts and your auto repair shop logo makes up one of the most important pieces of that character.
You may think that stamping your company’s name in a curvy font onto a stock image of a sports car silhouette is a sufficient logo, but a quick look at some of the industry leaders and you’ll see that for the most part they share key characteristics. In the auto repair industry, most logos tend to use the same block type font in either red or black colors. The problem you’ll face is how do you ensure your logo doesn’t get lost in the mix?
The tips below will give you a starting point to create something truly unique, making your brand intriguing and recognizable.
1. Make Your Logo Readable
Much like a billboard on a highway, customers driving by your shop will have about 3 seconds (longer if you’re at an intersection) to view and comprehend your name and services. Fancy, curvy font types sitting on top of a four color image are difficult to read on a page let alone on a pole or building sign.
2. Tell Them What You Do
Even if your shop has its service bays facing the frontage road, you’ll be surprised how often people don’t recognize the purpose behind them. If they do recognize the purpose of a service bay they’ll make assumptions on whether or not your shop only does tires or only does automotive repair simply by viewing what’s sitting outside the bays. If there are tires, your shop must only do tires. If there are no tires, your shop must only do service. Let them know you do “Tires and Automotive Service.”
3. You Don’t Always Need to Have a Car or Tire on It
Apple sells computers and tablets, and yet their logo is a very recognizable apple. They may be an extraordinary success story of effective logo design, but the same principle can apply to your auto repair shop logos. Choose an object, an animal, or even a non-trademarked superhero that you’d wish to emulate. It not only will reveal your personality to the clients, but it will also immediately stand out from a page of generic-looking results.
4. Take a Walk Around Your Neighborhood
Your auto repair shop logo is likely to be the focal point of your website, repair, and future advertising campaigns, but before it gets to that point, it will go on your building or a pole sign just outside your garage. Take a look at your neighborhood and surrounding businesses; is there a predominant color used? What about the people in the area; is it a youthful community or a family based community? Do people walk or just drive quickly by on the main road? Are there city signage regulations with regard to the business district you’re located within. These are the things you’ll want to keep in mind when making decisions.
5. Examine Free Resources Online…
The internet is a great source for free or budget-friendly design ideas. This includes free trials to professional design software, beginner-friendly webinars on marketing, and thousands of free vectors, drawings, and pics you can use. Run a Google search for “free logo templates” or “cheap logo templates” and you’ll find a website that offers a wide variety of resources at a price you feel comfortable with.
6. Choose An Image That Best Fits Your Branding
After you find an online site offering free online logo templates, try browsing their “auto” or “mechanic” label art. On the first page of results, you may find very familiar images. These are the logo templates that most of your competition is already using. If you want your logo to stand out, look for something completely different. Remember that object or animal from Tip #3? Look for that instead, and steer yourself away from anything on the first page of results.
7. Make Sure It’s Scalable
As we mentioned before, your logo is going to be on your website, paper invoices, shop uniforms, and even street and showroom signage. Keep in mind that many complex drawings tend to lose a lot of personality when scaled up or down. Fine details may make it hard to stitch on uniforms. These same details might have unseen flaws that become very obvious when expanded to pole sign sizes. Also your color choice may look good on a screen with it’s bright backlighting but become unreadable on paper. Experiment with your logo before you commit to a specific color palette or structure.
Creating recognizable and unique auto repair shop logos will take some work and adjusting, but it’s worth the investment. For the next step in building a loyal customer base and building your brand, try BayIQ’s customer management programs.