HiQ Retail Director, Peter Tye

Fast fit retailer HiQ is investing £500,000 into a national advertising campaign as part of a seven figure investment in HiQ Programmes for 2012. This follows an eight year absence from mainstream, ATL advertising.

The brand has said it was a ‘conscious and strategic decision’ to delay an advertising spend of this scale in order to concentrate efforts on the development of the full HiQ Franchise programme.

“In recent years we have invested heavily in our customers and our network to deliver a service incomparable to that of our competitors.” HiQ’s Retail Director, Peter Tye said.

“Behind a great advertising campaign must be the foundations of a great business model and we have spent time and money in developing this for the franchise network.”

HiQ has revealed that a huge proportion of the investment over the last two years was to directly facilitate business growth through customer service initiatives to drive standards, training and customer satisfaction.

Peter continued, “Customer feedback is integral to the development of our business so we can deliver a transparent retail experience that our competitors cannot match.

“We have invested in a range of initiatives from training our technicians’ in-store and through the HiQ Academy programme, to launching an online customer ratings and recommendations tool to build consumer confidence.”

The brand has delivered a multi-faceted approach to customer service with programmes including customer feedback surveys, an online customer manager system, video and telephone mystery shopping programmes and an online customer review channel.

The company is also the only fast fit network to self-regulate their technicians and work in voluntary association with the Industry of Motor Industry and the Automotive Technician Accreditation programme to ensure professionalism, honesty and job competency at every centre.

The work the Franchisees and network are doing, Peter claims, will underpin marketing campaigns now and in the future as customers can appreciate the brand’s ethos to drive standards at face value.

“Now is the best time for us to re-enter the market place and undertake a national campaign to shout about what we have on offer,” Peter said. “We have all the tools in place to provide a complete service that customers can buy into and feel confident about.”

Geraldine McGovern, HiQ’s Marketing Manager, said: “The national advertising campaign will be a multi-channel campaign integrated across all digital, social media and radio channels.”

The heart of the campaign is radio, which is pitched around a mega tyre sale to raise brand awareness across the country as hundreds of regional radio stations broadcast about sale priced tyres on offer at each centre.

“It’s a multi-agency brief which has been developed through Connect Advertising and PR, McCann-Erickson Bristol and Mediacom and is supported with fully integrated programmes online and offline with point of sale, direct marketing campaigns and social media advertising.” Geraldine concludes.

Spanning 11-weeks, HiQ recognises the potential demand and increased customer footfall the campaign will bring, which has resulted in over 97 per cent of the network opting in to the marketing spend.

HiQ insists the campaign will give further leverage to their efforts in changing the negative perceptions of garages and deliver a retail shopping experience on a par with any high street brand.

“The mega tyre sale sits in conjunction with any high street brand offering a mid-season sale,” Peter continued. “Customers not only get great value for money but they can actually see they are getting great value for money in a friendly and welcoming environment.

“The mega tyre sale is our single largest campaign investment in many years but I’m confident its money well spent. Our considered approach has meant we’ve been able to work from the bottom up and review what works and what doesn’t.

“Our standards are second to none and we hope the campaign will drive people into our centres to take advantage of the massive savings on offer.”

HiQ is anxious to get the message out that it’s to different all other fast fit networks. A HiQ centre clinched the national award for Tyre Retailer of the Year and was one of three HiQ centres shortlisted within the final five.