Why Did Najjar Car Care Change to Master Auto Repair?
by: Mike Najjar
It’s been over a year since Leslie and I agreed to change the name of our business. We have found that there are still many people confused by the name change. We also realize that many people don’t understand why we changed the name.
Back in early 2008 we took a look an overall look at our business. We compared the level of service we provide, the skill level of our mechanics and the care we give our customers to our larger, more well-known competitors. We felt that we beat them in almost every area, except for the amount of business volume.
We hired an advertising agency to help us “spread the good news” about Najjar Car Care and to grow the size of our business. They developed a plan for us to advertise our business and increase our market share. One of their first recommendations was for us to change our name.
“What? You’re kidding!”
That was our first reaction. “No Way! That’s MY name on our buildings. We originally named our business Najjar Car Care so people would know we are family owned, and that I’m so proud of the quality of repairs and the service we provide that I put my name on the front door.”
At first I was totally against the idea of a name change. But then we got to talking, and the “advertising guru” began explaining all the reasons why.
Lessons Learned About Business Names
A good business name has certain features that bad business names do not contain. Our expert explained them to us. First, and most importantly, the name should clearly (and briefly) tell our customers what we do.
Najjar Car Care got a passing grade, but not an “A”. The phrase “Car Care” is pretty broad. Over the years we have received hundreds of calls from people looking for body work,
car washing and detailing, and dent removal. We had to agree that the phrases “Auto Repair”, or “Auto and Tire” would do a better job of telling people about our business.
“Okay,” we told him. Maybe we should rename our business Najjar Auto Repair. “That would be better,” he said. But then he went on to explain the second requirement of a good business name.
The second requirement of a good business name is that it is easy to pronounce and easy to spell. People have to be able to hear a business name, and then go to the phone book and find it. If a business name is hard to spell the potential customers cannot find it.
Our name, Najjar, is not too easy to spell. A lot of people think it starts with an “M” instead of an “N”. If you are calling information or looking in the phone book under the wrong letter you couldn’t find us. So our marketing expert won round two of the argument.
“What about all our existing customers?”
We still didn’t agree to change the name. We were a small business, but we still had thousands of customers already familiar with our old name. “They will think we’ve gone out of business or sold out.” Being the expert that he is, of course, he had a simple answer to the last objection: Just tell all your customers in advance of the name change.
So that’s what we did. We decided to change our name to Master Auto Repair. We would notify our existing customers by publicizing the name change in the next two customer newsletters, and we would send postcards out to all our customers. The message was simple:
Same Great Service
Najjar Car Care is now Master Auto Repair
After operating under the new name for over a year now, we realize that we did not do enough to explain to you, our good clients, why we changed our name. I recently spoke with a shop owner in Texas who was forced to change his name (someone else had a legal claim to his name).
This shop owner told me that he began notifying his customers of the pending name change over a year before he actually changed the name. They stapled notices to every work order, they mailed postcards to all their customers about eight times, they had business cards printed with both names, and they reminded every customer each time they visited the shop.
What Has Stayed The SAME:
Ownership: Mike and Leslie Najjar (since 1992)
1939 Union Road: Scott Ramsey, employed since 1992.
7027 Hampton: Shawn Mead, general manager since 1993.
8216 Watson Road: Lori Lucas, employed since 2002, manager since 2007.
206 Vandalia: Ed Starns, since 2005; and Kevin Stroud, since 1980.
Our commitment to taking care of YOU and your vehicles.
What Has CHANGED:
New Name: Master Auto Repair
New Web Address: www.MasterAutoAndTire.com
New, Longer Warranty: 2 Year, 24,000 Mile “No-Hassle” Warranty on Parts & Labor.
|Why Did Najjar Car Care Change to Master Auto Repair? was written by Mike Najjar of Master Auto and Tire|