Family-owned, female-led, service excellence, industry-changing, and integrity, each of these buzzwords is used individually to capture new clients for a business, but what if you have all of them at once? You have Gainesville’s best-kept secret of an auto repair shop.
For nearly four decades, City Auto Repair has been an industry-breaking auto repair shop here in Gainesville, Florida. There is a local competitive landscape for auto repair, but rich with its standout factors, it became clear PHOS needed to carve out recognition for how much more enjoyable it is to work with City Auto Repair than other shops.
What We Did
In collaboration with City Auto Repair, we uncovered their mission and purpose. Simply put, they aspired for “repair beyond broken cars” as City Auto Repair sets out every day to help not just the vehicles, but also the people in their community that use these vehicles.
In order to capture their mission, we needed to refresh the brand to display some of the below key virtues. With a rebrand, new website, and marketing, they would stand out from the sea of sameness.
There is often an intimidating and uncomfortable feeling going to most auto repair shops. You know the feeling of this place; the lingering smell of oil, the uncomfortable chairs, the small TV playing the same movie on repeat, and the free coffee brewed five hours ago. All of this just to be given an exorbitant repair price and without feeling like you can ask to understand.
City Auto Repair breaks all of that. From the moment you walk in the door, you feel the difference. Clean bathrooms, a waiting area as nice as most living rooms, and a friendly face to speak to make you feel right at home. City Auto Repair offers a feeling of warmth and treats every customer like a loved one.
City Auto Repair has a staff that adds up to nearly one hundred years of experience. Their staff knows vehicles inside and out, never backing down from trying to fix a vehicle. Dealerships and other repair shops come to them with challenges they can’t solve with their state of the art diagnostics equipment and knowledge to fix the problem.
City Auto Repair takes an integrated approach to solving vehicle problems. They pride themselves on not being “part swappers” like many in their industry. The team is quick to identify a problem, come up with a solution, and present this solution to their clients.
At PHOS, we are driven in our day-to-day activities by our mission and our core values. With love and integrity as two of our values, we were and continue to be inspired by seeing those same values embodied in City Auto Repair. When someone comes with a broken car, they often come with more problems than just that. City Auto Repair sees that in everyone who comes through that door and strives to empower and repair cars and people alike. As the owner, Rachael Wacha, offers her time to help victims of domestic violence in the community with Peaceful Paths. She also teaches other women how they can maintain their vehicles, without caving to the typical gender stereotype of males working on cars. The love that she gives to her community and integrity with which she does all of her work needed to shine through both in the shop and in the digital presence.
To tell the story of City Auto Repair, it was vital we understand why they do what they do. Over an extensive exploration, we unpacked that they strive to bring “repair beyond broken cars.” To go beyond broken cars, this type of repair is focused on the industry reputation, the trust of a community, and the lives of these individuals. From this, we found that key elements of our strategy included:
- Visual Storytelling – Understanding what makes City Auto Repair special is nearly impossible without seeing it in action. That’s what made the photography and videography critical to the success of this project. We wanted to show the history of the business while also capturing the modern innovation. We wanted to show the culture and headshots of every team member so you could know exactly who you’re trusting your vehicle with.
- Local Brand Awareness – It can often feel like auto repair shops come at a dime a dozen. It’s competitive, and standing out is not easy. We wanted to invest in a strategy that showed City Auto Repair to be deeply entrenched as a member of this community and for this community. This would be done across local business listings, reputation management, social media, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and more.
- Voice of Authority & Expertise – With having so much knowledge about auto repair, it is important to be educational and give back to the community. We wanted to provide timely, educational, and engaging content marketing and social media to position City Auto Repair as an industry leader.
Photography & Videography
People are at the heart of everything City Auto Repair does, and it’s crucial to capture the people behind the business. We wanted to display the culture and people of City Auto Repair that sets them apart on the website. Before going into the website design, we spent a day capturing new brand photography. Additionally, we crafted a brand anchor video that, in less than two minutes, captures the heart of City Auto Repair. This video went on to win a Silver American Advertising Award in the Gainesville region!
Rebrand & Collateral
In tandem with capturing the spirit of City Auto Repair through photography, another task was capturing it visually in a rebrand including a new logo, color scheme, and typefaces. We crafted a custom color palette and logo that embodied City Auto Repair and moved the brand forward. Once built, we blended each piece into a cohesive branding such as new business cards, social media profiles, and the website design. The new logo was such a hit that it won a Gold American Advertising Award in the Gainesville region!
In looking at the industry, many of the local auto repair businesses had lackluster website designs that did not evoke a sense of excellence. As websites increasingly become your storefront online, we knew we wanted to give City Auto Repair a custom-built website design that was on-brand. We wanted to provide educational content for City Auto Repair’s audience while still offering a sleek website design that promotes the ease of scheduling an appointment.
Once the new website launched, we knew we wanted to keep the spotlight on them as a bright spot in the auto repair industry. That’s why we continued to provide a digital marketing plan that inspired customers by way of
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Email and SMS marketing
- Lead generation
- Social media marketing
- PPC advertising
- Reputation management
Since launching the website in 2020, website users are up 73% and Gainesville users are up nearly 100%. In addition, total Google search website clicks and impressions have both increased by over 7,000% since launching the website. With a fluid cross-browser website design, the website is exceptionally fast on both mobile and desktop devices.
Not only have the website metrics performed well, but with multiple American Advertising award winners in the brand anchor video (Silver) and logo design (Gold), the design elements have served exceptionally!
“I can’t even put into words how this video made me feel. I literally CRIED! I am so impressed with the vision you and the team had to put my ‘why’ into a video. I absolutely love everything about it!!! It’s perfect!!!”
– Rachael Wacha, City Auto Repair