ACC Annual Conference Blog, Day 2 Morning
Brooke Regalado, Student, Northwood University, ACC Scholarship Winner

Wednesday morning was full of information, tips and motivating calls to action. Ernie Perich was the first presenter of the day, and he started our day by asking us “Is your brand electric or horse drawn?” Ernie compared a brand to a suit, and he asked the group to do an internal audit on their brand and to ask themselves questions like “What decade is your suit from?” or “Do you look and sound as smart as the business today?” The answers to these questions and others ultimately revealed if your brand is truly “electric” or “horse drawn.” Ernie motivated the group to do some reflection on their brand about what it stood for, and how it represented the culture of the company.

Chuck Bean, from the Martec Group, also gave an intriguing presentation about the emotional and psychological components that are behind decisions made by the technician. Chuck talked about the two systems of the brain, the emotional and logical systems that contribute to every decision that is made. He explained that 75%-95% of all cognitive behavior is from the emotion system, and that the more emotional impactful an interaction it is, the more likely they are to remember it long term. I thought his presentation was particularly important because knowing how your customer’s brain works when making decisions creates an opportunity to communicate more with them and create a positive interaction at the same time.

The debate of print vs. media has been a topic I have heard about for a few years now and Tamra Banz, from Automotive Data Media did a great job of creating arguments for both sides of the argument. She kicked off her presentation by explaining that there was a time videos took over and radios weren’t used anymore and how everyone was worried of the outcome. She explained that radio was simply just used for other things and was just used in another way, just how print is now used differently today than it was 15 years ago and is now used for specific consumers who still prefer them in the automotive aftermarket industry. Tamra used data from surveys to show that a there is a large mix of suppliers and shop owners that prefer a mix of print and media with a wide variety of reasons to support their answers.

The morning session ended with a discussion led by Tina Smith about TechForce, the lack of technicians, and how the industry can get involved to help. TechForce is a company that awards scholarships to those interested in an automotive trade. Not only do they award scholarships, but they also have endless information and resources for those interested in becoming a technician as well as the parents of these individuals to help them find the right career for them. In the future TechForce will be part of the ACC Give Back Program where the council can support and supply resources to future technicians in the Industry.