Shop Life Columnists

The Name is the Game

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Do you know any proprietary eponyms?

It’s likely that you do. The term refers to a brand name that has become so ubiquitous that it becomes the generic name for an item. Have a runny nose? You’ll reach for a Kleenex no matter what the actual manufacturer might be. Throwing trash in a Dumpster? That name initially referred to a receptacle created by the Dempster Brothers company in the ’30s.

For more of an automotive tie-in, how about the Zipper? B.F. Goodrich first used the name when it used that technology to fasten its brand new rubber galoshes in the ’20s. When your name is synonymous with a product, that’s when you’ve got an effective brand.

Of course, a brand is so much more than the name itself, and that’s what this month’s feature story (page XX) is all about. Whether franchise or independent, your customers will come to associate your brand name with their own experiences. Your greeting, landscaping, customer service—that’s all a part of your brand. What you’ll find out in this story is how three companies view and value their brands, as well as how they make sure it’s a positive reflection of their hard work.

Additionally, you’ll find a profile story (page 30) about Eric Galindo’s move from operations manager to owner of his own chain of quick lubes. Eric is the type of operator who is very thoughtful about his processes and operations, and the story really shows how he puts his ideas into action. He’s now got more than a dozen locations in the works, just two years after launching.

This month’s issue will also touch on ways to improve your customer acquisition and retention (page XX), renovate without the headache (page XX), and tailor your services to the seasons (page XX).

Hopefully you’ll find that your branding can be a part of all the strategies in those stories. I know that when my car is ready for service, my thoughts land on the name of the local shop that I trust. And that’s the goal with every customer, right?

My challenge for you is to use this issue to figure out how your shop can be the proprietary eponym in your local market. When your customers are in need of quick maintenance, they won’t say that they’re headed to the oil change shop.

They’ll know you by name.

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