The tool industry never stops — because the automotive repair industry never stops. As technicians, we don’t often focus too heavily on what’s going on around us, because we’ve got work to do. We think about the job that’s in our bay or the next one coming in. We’re always a couple steps ahead so we can keep the work flowing.
But at some point, we have to advertise, and often there’s a gimmick involved. We all use them and, in some ways, they’re kind of fun. The one I’m most familiar with in our industry is Shocktober, usually a buy two, get two free on shocks and struts. I don’t mind it. It’s creative and it gets attention. That’s the goal.
It also fits in with the Halloween theme, which is often linked to advertising this time of year. But what else can we use? Shocktober has been around for quite a while. If we put a big sign in our window that says, “We have pumpkin spice,” we’d probably get people lining up at the shop door. Aside from coffee, it seems like everything comes in pumpkin spice these days. Candles, doughnuts, milk, ice cream, pancakes, syrup, cookies. When will it end? Enough pumpkin spice, already. I can’t think of a way to spin it into the automotive world, so, I guess we can stick with the Halloween theme. It’s scary when your car breaks down, right? Or for a tune-up you could “put some extra vroom in your broom.”
If spooky isn’t your thing and you want to have some fun instead, this is also the month for Oktoberfest celebrations. Incidentally, that works perfect for shock sales as well, or you could rent an accordion and stand out front playing some polkas. You’re certain to draw some attention, but it might be better if you are a body shop.
On top of all that, I looked up October holidays for some additional ideas. Did you know that October is also national “stop bullying month” and “apple month,” among many others? And that “pet peeve” week and “national walk your dog week” also fall in October? Those poor pooches. They’ve been waiting all year to walk. Then there’s the various special days throughout the month, including “Name Your Car Day,” “National Grouch Day” and “National Pumpkin Day.” Go figure.
I didn’t have an idea when I started to write this month’s editor’s column, and I thought I could focus on some of the current events and news in the industry. But none of it was good. Americans are borrowing money at record levels to pay for expensive cars. Ford is cutting corporate jobs. Tesla is laying off employees. Toyota is recalling cars because the wheels might fall off.
That’s all bad news. We get enough of that. We like to bring you the good, the informative and the fun, and we’ve got a lot of great stuff packed into the magazine this month, so grab a cup of pumpkin spice coffee, sit back and enjoy the articles.