Your ag dealership is so much more than the most popular brand of equipment it sells.
It’s parts. It’s service. It’s understanding the customer’s needs, knowing the ins and outs of the equipment you stock, and finding the perfect product to offer them when they come to you.
So why would you advertise your dealership like all you do is sell one brand of equipment?
Your customers come to you for a reason. It might be because you sell their favorite brand and because you’re conveniently located—those are great factors in your favor.
But when their tractor has an issue they can’t figure out and they don’t know where to turn to fix it, they’re calling you first—not Kubota, John Deere, or Mahindra.
As your area’s agricultural equipment dealer, you’ve established yourself as THE expert to be trusted. And your expertise isn’t solely focused on one manufacturer, either: your dealership offers all kinds of brands, products, and services to help keep the ag community going.
That’s why you need to focus on branding, marketing, and selling your dealership—NOT just the most popular brands you carry.
It’s More Than Just the Sale
At the end of the day, selling equipment is great. But repeat customers are what really keeps your dealership growing and thriving.
Whether they’re contractors buying from you several times over the years, hobbyists who come to you for service and parts, or farmers who make you their go-to destination for the implements they need, those repeat customers are the ones who keep your dealership going strong.
Why? Because they’ve formed a relationship with you, the dealership—not the brand of equipment they use. And not only do strong relationships mean high-value customers, but they lead to referrals to friends and family, too.
The success of your dealership relies on far more than just making sales. So how will you take care of customers after they’ve left your dealership? In other words, what can you offer them that will keep them coming back?
The Customer’s Experience
What is it that sets your dealership apart?
Why should customers buy from you instead of from a dealership 10 minutes away?
Chances are, you answer to these questions is something your dealership offers in terms of customer service: things like friendly reps, helpful programs, or ease of communication. All of these factors contribute to the overall experience a customer has at your dealership.
Our advice? Make it easy to buy from you, and they will.
No matter their specific needs, customers come to you because you know your stuff—which makes you trustworthy to consult about a big purchase. And when you sell to them, you’re also selling them on using you in the future for repairs, parts orders, and new equipment years down the line.
Farmers and other workers in the agricultural space are notorious for being fiercely loyal to their preferred brand. Brand-loyal prospects can buy their equipment anywhere, so you have to make it worth it for them to come to your dealership.
Advertising yourself as your community’s “local Name Brand dealer” is great for getting people in the door. But depending on the market you’re in, it may not be wise to only advertise yourself this way. What if those brand-loyal customers live closer to another dealership that has what they’re looking for? Why should they choose you instead?
In a crowded market, you have to give brand loyalists a reason to come to your dealership. Not only that, but you have to give them a reason to come to you first and come to you often. That’s what’s going to put you ahead of your competitors.
You opened your business to provide the people in your area with products you trust. That’s why equipment dealership branding is so important: you’re making a connection between you and your customers, not just between your customers and their favorite manufacturers.
First-Time & Undecided Buyers
Next, consider your customers who don’t really care about which brand they buy—they just want what works, no matter the popularity of the manufacturer or the color of paint on the equipment.
What exactly are these customers looking for when they walk into your showroom?
- In a product, they’re looking for something that fits their needs.
- In a dealership, they’re looking for knowledgeable people who can help them pick the right product.
Is your dealership branded in a way that lets people know you can help them?
A brand name may get loyalists to come by, but positioning your salespeople as experts is a necessary step to get first-time customers and brand-neutral folks through the door. (Not to mention, your dealership’s expertise may be the tipping point between attracting those loyalists to you instead of a competitor.)
Especially in the case of first-time buyers, your dealership’s know-how is what makes the sale. These customers want to talk to an expert who listens, understands, and provides valuable assistance. After all, researching products on the internet—as helpful as that can be before a big purchase—is no match for explaining your needs to a knowledgeable team at a local dealership.
Are You Using Your Co-Op Advertising Dollars Correctly?
Co-op can be a valuable asset to any dealership. The problem is that—more often than not—it doesn’t get used properly.
“There is a lot of inefficiency in agri-business,” says Michael Kirkpatrick, our media buyer. “Manufacturers are setting aside co-op dollars for dealerships, which aren’t getting spent. Short line products are being ignored. Manufacturing territory reps are being relegated to advising dealers about advertising—a lot of time, money and energy are being wasted due to a lack of communication between manufacturers and dealerships.”
We understand the struggles of co-op advertising because we’ve spent years helping dealerships navigate those challenges. Plus, we’ve worked with dealerships and manufacturers alike, and we know how to liaise between the two for the best performance possible. Read more about our unique perspective on co-op advertising here.
Start Branding Your Agricultural Equipment Dealership
Taking on the task of branding your ag equipment dealership can be overwhelming—but you’re in the right place. Whether you have no idea where to start or you just need a new perspective to help freshen up your dealership’s messaging, Kirkpatrick Creative can help.
We know what ag dealers need to succeed, and we know how to use your co-op dollars wisely to get the best outcome possible for your dealership. Our team rigorously tests and measures everything we produce, and we’re never satisfied until it’s making you more sales. That’s what we consider advertising engineered to work: advertising that works as hard as you do.
If you’re ready to start branding your agricultural equipment dealership, contact Kirkpatrick Creative today.