Successful classic brands are those that are innovative and constantly exploring new ways of attracting the next generation of consumers. For over 65 years, Speedy Auto Service has been creatively doing just that. It has overturned the traditional image of a mechanical shop by incorporating the best and the latest processes aimed at improving shop operations and has created a benchmark that others now follow.
Behind the engine tune-ups, oil changes, mechanical repairs and the tire changeovers remains the enduring legacy of a brand that continues to stand the test of time and is always keen to pivot and adapt as the automotive industry changes. However, as it continues to disrupt the aftermarket industry, Speedy Auto Service will always remain a customer-first brand.
Speedy’s enduring legacy isn’t just about keeping up with the times. By captivating four generations of consumers with its famous tag line “At Speedy, You’re A Somebody”, it has shown that it’s all about finding a story, making your audience fall in love with it and building brand loyalty along the way. That perhaps has been the secret ingredient of its enduring success.
Step into any Speedy Auto Service shop and you are instantly transported into its old-world charm. Most customers don’t know it but running quietly in the background of the shop’s business is a thriving, technologically advanced engine that redefines and challenges modern automotive workshops. The shop’s façade may express the brand’s strong heritage but the workshop inside is equipped with the latest technological tools that make its operations the stuff of science-fiction movies.
While keeping its 65-year legacy at the heart of its operations, Speedy Auto Service has transitioned quickly into the digital era, thanks to its acquisition by Fix Network, a global aftermarket leader, in 2016. Fix Network’s successful franchise strategy has largely helped the iconic brand incorporate the latest innovations in its operations and grow beyond its traditional areas of operation.
Currently, the brand advocates progressive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and contactless vehicle servicing and diagnostics as part of seamless workshop operations. Many Speedy locations are also equipped with predictive solutions that can alert motorists of potential issues in advance to save them money on repairs and operating costs and prolong their vehicle’s roadworthiness.
Bert Gregory, Director of Operations at Speedy Auto Service, says the reinvention is an ongoing learning process at Speedy. Having worked with the brand for over 35 years, Bert has witnessed and participated in the rapid transformation of Speedy over the years.
“Most people don’t associate body shops or automotive workshops with the digital era. But the transformation has always been taking place behind the scenes at Speedy locations over the years,” says Bert. “A successful company understands the need to reinvent itself every now and then to keep ahead of the competition, while capitalising on the changes in the market, technology and customer interest.”
Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of contactless technology in aftermarket workshops across the globe, allowing fast, convenient and efficient vehicle inspection. In Canada, Speedy locations are increasingly embracing unmanned equipment such as Hunter Engineering Company’s Quick Check Drive that provides autonomous alignment audits while Quick Tread Edge gives accurate tire tread readings in seconds.
The digital revolution taking place at Speedy locations makes an interesting narrative in Speedy Auto Service’s marketing. “It’s critical to our success,” explains Bert. “We’re constantly thinking about how we can translate the emotion behind the innovations taking place at Speedy into a captivating story. The challenge is to commit to one consistent message and make multiple communications channels flow seamlessly together.”
Over the years, Speedy Auto Service has cultivated a distinctive engagement strategy to speak about its fast-changing service technology to different generations of customers. Currently, the marketing team integrates web advertising, search engine optimization, email bursts and online business reviews into its communications strategy to make sure the brand continues to resonate in the hearts and minds of Canadian consumers.
“We have successfully capitalized on the functional and emotional positioning of the Speedy brand into an actionable digital strategy,” says Bert. “Our goal has always been to capture the positive emotional connection people experience when they enter a Speedy location, watch their vehicle being serviced by use of sophisticated technology and go home with the feeling that their vehicle has been cared for by safe hands.”
As Bert sums it up, “We can never ignore our hard-earned heritage, but we always find interesting ways to keep the brand relevant and elevate our customer experience.”