A spate of tire slashing incidents in a Denver, Colorado, neighborhood has proven a wonderful opportunity for local tire dealers to show their community-mindedness.
Colorado news channel CBS4 recently reported that almost all of the residents in an apartment complex had had their tires slashed on more than one occasion since the vandalism spree started. One resident’s tires had been slashed four times since the new year.
A single mother reported that she’d had to replace a tire three times because of slashing and has had to use money that was budgeted for her children’s after-school programs. The apartment complex is a low-rent community where people are hard-pressed to replace even one tire, let alone three or four.
Local Big O franchisees step up to help their neighbors
In response, the local Big O Tire franchisees decided to step up and help the victims out by replacing their tires free of charge. The idea was born after Mike Adams from the Federal Boulevard store had one of the affected residents come to him for new tires and he heard their tale. He felt so bad for the person that he put a set of tires on their car for free and mentioned it to his store’s owner.
The area owners have regular meetings together. The next day just happened to be the day for their meeting and they discussed the issue. Instead of getting mad at Adams for taking it upon himself to replace the victim’s tires free of charge, they decided as a group to get in touch with the TV station so they could replace the tires of any resident of the apartment complex that had had their tires slashed on more than one occasion. CBS4 put them in touch with these people, and they took it from there.
“We live in this community,” said Big O franchisee Matt Story. “To have your neighbors and friends affected by something like this… you want to try and help.”
Story and other local Big O franchisees are sharing the financial burden of helping these people in need.
Story said the group agreed they would set a $600 limit for the cost of the tires they replaced. He said his stores have replaced ten sets to date and don’t foresee replacing any more. He said this humanitarian project capped out at about $6,000.
Meanwhile, the owners of the apartment complex have started to install security cameras and are looking at other security options to bring those responsible for these slashings to justice.
A community-minded marketing opportunity
What these Big O franchisees have done is obviously generous and genuinely heartfelt. They’re doing good work. But — intentional or not — they’re also engaging in a very simple, very positive piece of marketing. Consider the advantages to their businesses:
1. Engendering loyalty
Everyone in that apartment complex is very likely to return to Big O when the time comes to buy tires. That kind of generosity (and service) leads to customer loyalty. These people are also likely to tell their friends and family where they got their tires, so you can benefit from the word-of-mouth advertising, too.
2. Building a good reputation
You’re also building a good reputation within the wider community. Hopefully you’ll get a little media coverage from this sort of generosity but, regardless, you’ll gain the respect of other business and community leaders. And that can open doors for you down the track.
3. Setting a good example
Perhaps most importantly, you’re also providing a great example to your team about what kind of person you are, what kind of business you run, and what kind of positive force it’s possible to be in the community. Employees respect leaders who do good things for those around them.
Consider how you can get involved in your local community. Thousands of people have their tires slashed across America every single year. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for you in following Big O’s example.