We See You, Autobell!

Autobell Car Wash is known as one of the largest family-owned car washes in the country. Started in 1969 by the Howard family, it is still family operated and has around 80 locations in North Carolina and throughout the east coast.

The company is known for taking a PR approach to its marketing. It sponsors professional sports teams, prioritizes news segments, and consistently sponsors community events. But there’s been a shift in its brand positioning, and we have an idea why.

Late last year, Shawn Sluder was promoted from a Creative Manager to Director of Brand Marketing. Without realizing the change, we started seeing a shift in their public presence. The brand seemed to be cleaner. We also started to hear more industry insiders talk about their team, and they seem to be hiring again for various marketing positions. The signs and byproducts of the shift are noticeable, but the fact that all of these subtle branding touches are working together may not be.

Brand launch events may be why authentic branding flies under the radar. Most think branding is an event that launches (or re-launches) a brand in one night with “THIS IS WHO WE ARE” statements. REAL BRANDING is a process.

Like weight loss, it’s not noticeable after one day or one week but takes shape and is noticeable to the public when you have a plan and place the right effort week after week. Stack enough disciplined branding efforts on top of each other, and this compounds into a fantastic brand that is recognizable by sight, and the degree of customer experience and service doesn’t vary by location.

We hope Autobell’s next project on the list is fixing the mixed use of car wash and carwash on their website menu and text – you know it’s our pet peeve.

But until then, here’s a shoutout to the team. We see you.