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National Check Your Transmission Day: Leveraging national auto holidays as a marketing vehicle

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 06:00
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Each calendar year is filled with a variety of niche holidays, from National Pepperoni Pizza Day to World Teacher Day. Widely recognized celebration days like these can act as observances for important causes, awareness raising ventures on key educational topics or as a fun excuse to enjoy a special treat. For a messaging or brand specialist, they can also serve as an entry point for a brand to reach a broader consumer base and familiarize those individuals with specific products or services, turning them from a consumer into a customer.

Similarly, aftermarket companies can use national car-related holidays as tools to educate and empower consumers to get a better handle on how to prolong their cars’ lives, while also using the day as a vehicle to fine-tune brand messaging and raise awareness of existing offerings and services that align with the changing needs of a consumer.

And if there’s no existing holiday specific to your brand’s offering? For example, if you’re an aftermarket transmission specialist but there’s not already a national holiday devoted to transmission care? Then do the unthinkable—create your own holiday! And so that’s what my team at Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care decided to do with National Check Your Transmission Day, a new national holiday occurring on Oct. 21.

In our case, we wanted a way to highlight transmission maintenance as a key tool in overall car care and upkeep. October is already observed as National Car Care Month. Many consumers already know the importance of changing their oil when the light comes on, or rotating the tires on a regular basis. However, many consumers tend to have less of an understanding of the intricacies of transmission care. Moreover, many consumers often dread or even avoid transmission checks since transmission repair can be one of the most costly when a serious problem arises.

For Cottman, this made October the perfect opportunity to launch a new holiday that would act as a way to raise awareness and educate customers on the realities of transmission maintenance, and demystify the care and keeping of such an important component of their car’s machinery in the process.

For example, sometimes simply changing the fluid and filter can extend the life of a transmission by years. In addition, catching transmission problems early can prevent large-scale transmission repairs such as complete rebuilds, which are always expensive and usually stressful for a consumer. Arming consumers with these tools creates trust in our services and technicians, and it empowers consumers to do what’s best to keep their vehicle in top working shape.

But harnessing the marketing power of a new or existing national holiday related to the aftermarket is more than simply naming the day and waiting for new customers to flood your office or waiting room. When we created National Check Your Transmission Day, it was part of a larger strategic effort to promote an existing service—the free TransCheck 21 PLUS Inspection, for one, and also the related suite of transmission-related services Cottman provides at all of our locations.

The success of an aftermarket-related holiday also comes down to effective messaging on the part of a brand. An objective of National Check Your Transmission Day is to take the idea of a customer getting the transmission checked from the realm of a service, a chore to be performed, into a celebration. By checking your transmission, you’re saving money and extending the life of your vehicle—it’s something to enjoy, rather than dread. And National Check Your Transmission Day is one way to promote this activity in a positive light, and shift the thinking of the average consumer.

Launching a new holiday may seem daunting, but it is also an amazing opportunity to inspire consumers to feel confident in their own ability to maintain a significant investment—their automobiles. And with the first annual celebration of National Check Your Transmission Day, more consumers will be able to celebrate transmission checks as an enjoyable part of owning a car, and make this annual observance a memorable part of their year.

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