American Car Care Centers Inc. (ACCC), the country’s largest tire distribution group, is celebrating its 20th anniversary by completely overhauling its program. “We started off calling it a ‘re-image,’ but it’s become a re-invention of the company,” says ACCC Director of Marketing Jeremy Lewin. “Beyond just a logo, it’s a brand new approach to all of the elements we offer. We’re changing every single thing.”
That includes signage, the tools available to members and even the tires ACCC sells. (The Memphis, Tenn.-based company has 1,020 members.)
ACCC is launching an on-line marketing toolbox, www.acccmarketingmanager.com, that will serve as a “one-stop shop for all of our members’ marketing needs,” says Lewin.
“Instead of sending out a point-of-sale kit with six or seven standard items, the goal is to allow the dealer to choose the items that make sense in his retail environment.”
Components will include counter cards, window clings, posters, floor decals and other items.
“You’ll be able to order your new showroom components, including digital media. There will be an option for an LCD TV that will play a customized looping video (highlighting) the products you want to push. You’ll have the ability to order your own collateral material.”
ACCC also has changed its logo and signage to create a more modern, upscale image, according to Lewin. The colors red, white and blue will continue to be part of the group’s overall marketing scheme, but its old cartoon eagle mascot, “Ace,” has been retired. Though popular, Ace “was never going to sell a $5,000 (tire and wheel) package.
“Image is extremely important to consumers. We have to go after the high-end business. We’ve made some hard decisions in eliminating elements we thought were holding us back from an image standpoint.”
ACCC’s more up-market focus will affect its tire mix, according to Lewin. “Our premium mix is already up across the board and that trend will continue.”
The group is revamping its product line-up, “but unfortunately these efforts won’t be immediately visible” due to preparation time. However, new products should begin to come on-line as early as next year.
In addition, ACCC will allow buyers of its Freedom Plan Tire Warranty and Coast-to-Coast Service Warranty programs to seek help from non-ACCC members in the event of a break down.
“In the event your vehicle is disabled, if there isn’t an ACCC store within a reasonable distance, we’ll send you to another independent non-affiliated dealership or a chain,” says Lewin.
However, some features of the warranties will remain exclusives to ACCC members.
Despite its new focus, ACCC has no plans to abandon its current end user customer base, he adds.
“We’re still going to be your local tire dealer. We’re not going to lose sight of that.”