Since 2007, Hems Truck & Auto has built a strong reputation for troubleshooting the most challenging repairs. Based in Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania — where the Hems family name represents generations of entrepreneurs — husband and wife duo Roland and Megan Hems work hard to earn and keep their customers’ trust. Specializing in diesel, hy-rail repairs and fleet maintenance, Hems welcomes just about any repair job that rolls into their shop.
“Working on cars is more than a job or a business — it’s life, it’s love, it’s everything I think about day and night,” says Roland.
Over the years, the Hems family has experienced hikes and dips in cash flow. Their biggest challenge is finding the most cost-effective methods for promoting the shop’s breadth of services. Bringing in new customers and earning repeat business is also a top concern. Like most auto shops, the Hems’ marketing efforts have relied solely on customer referrals, which can be inconsistent and take time to materialize.
“We still experience first-year problems, even after ten years in business,” says Megan.
An image refresh
With a focus on helping Hems attract more desirable (and profitable) work, the marketing team from Deluxe created a plan to ramp up Hems’ online presence, while improving the business’ brand image. More importantly, Deluxe identified inexpensive ways to encourage existing customers to return to Hems for ongoing maintenance and repair work on their vehicles.
Designing a new logo
The Hems had recently updated the shop’s logo, which included a Pisces sign that held symbolic meaning for the couple. Little did the owners know, their beloved logo was hurting the business: it didn’t properly convey Hems brand.
Deluxe encouraged the owners to reconsider their design choice, and create a logo that appealed to their customers.
The new logo brings more professionalism to the business and uses a hexagonal nut shape to tie in the concept of auto repair. It also offers versatility for social media with the “H” icon and scalability across everything from business cards to large signage:
Creating professional branded collateral
With the new logo in tow, it was time to get started with promotional items: Deluxe outfitted the Hems team with workwear, business cards, appointment reminders and giveaways to keep their shop forefront in customers’ minds. Not only did these cards contain key information to prompt return visits, but they also reinforced the new, professional branding to help give Hems a competitive edge over larger shops.
Building an online presence
Hems embraced the opportunity to connect with potential customers online: Deluxe helped the shop create a professional website that told their story and built trust with online visitors. In addition to a mobile-friendly website, elements such as phone number, location and types of services were designed to be one click away, creating a better visitor experience and placing an importance on proximity.
Getting found where customers search
In addition to a professional website, it’s vital for small businesses to connect with potential customers wherever they search online. Popular search engine listings and directories like Google and Yelp offer more opportunities for shops like Hems to find new business and generate trust.
Deluxe helped the Hems claim and optimize their business listings, making sure information like photos, services, company logo, website URL, address, hours and contact information were populated for visitors to easily access and for search engines to trust.
Creating a social media plan
Social media continues to play a key role for any business’s web strategy, offering opportunities to connect with potential customers and build trust. While Facebook still dominates the social landscape, platforms like Instagram are providing businesses more ways to connect with audiences visually.
As part of Hems’ brand overhaul strategy, Deluxe verified their Facebook page and refreshed their image with new graphics, helped them start up an Instagram account to showcase the quality of their workmanship, and provided hands-on training to share best practices, including a manageable content plan with suggested posts.
Facebook page: before
Facebook page: after
Hems new Instagram account is an ideal channel for the business to showcase custom work.
Hems Instagram page
Forward momentum gives shop new life
Hems Truck & Auto’s updated image has received positive feedback. In three months, the shop has earned nearly 4,000 views on Google from people searching for automotive services. Hundreds of those searchers have visited the website, called the business or gotten directions to the shop. Traffic to Hems’ Yelp page has also risen significantly, resulting in more inquiries and a steady stream of new customers.
“All of the changes, upgrades and improvements Deluxe made help us feel like a ‘real shop,’ and the customers, vendors and locals are treating us accordingly now, too!” Megan says.