The Keepers of the Kendall Brand

116 & West

Late in 2012, Kendall Auto Group was seeking a marketing partner to manage their portfolio of work and become the keepers of the brand. The chosen agency was to improve the creative messaging and plan/manage broadcast media planning and buying. These efforts would support Kendall’s branding and advertising for its 27 automotive franchises across four states.

Understanding the Kendall Brand

Our partnership began in December of 2012 and it was immediately clear that Kendall Auto Group possessed a brand of great integrity and would benefit from a branding campaign. With a progressive philosophy including community involvement and philanthropy, human resource compliance, and environmental stewardship, we had the cornerstones on which to build a strong campaign. The challenge was marrying up the Kendall brand, which was built on relationships and community involvement, with the very promotional nature of the car business – two ends of the spectrum.

The end product allowed us to focus on the strengths of the brand in the greater campaign while having the flexibility to quickly produce each month’s promotional campaigns with a consistent art direction. The ultimate goal was obviously to sell cars, but we were mindful of the importance of moving the brand along as well. Understanding the role that the buying cycle plays in the psychology of marketing automobiles, we developed a tiered approach.

The Branding Approach

Under the Kendall umbrella, we had the following:

  • Branding: The Kendall Way – focused on the pillars of Kendall Auto Group.
  • Localized branding: community-minded – Focused on Kendall Cares, giving back to each community.
  • Individual Dealer Promotions – monthly promotional advertising using manufacturer incentives.
  • We incorporated the company’s legacy tagline “The name means a great deal,” into a primary copy and headline device, while creating a new tagline with a stronger call-to-action, “Let’s start something great.” This, coupled with the art direction and a start button branding device, allowed 116 & West to brand all Kendall advertising in a consistent way and continue to honor the previous slogan.

Expanding the Strategy

Kendall Auto Group ended 2013 with an increase in group-wide vehicle sales of 14.5%. Since our partnership began, the group has added 8 new franchises, including 4 in a new market. Our partnership has also grown and 116 & West now handles all facets of Kendall’s marketing efforts including brand planning, monthly promotional advertising (TV and radio), print and digital (web development, SEM, SEO, and social media) as well as public relations.


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