It is rare if a carwash doesn’t have to worry about competitive rivalries. Often these rivalries can result in a Prisoner’s Dilemma. That is, when downward price moves by one car wash forces other car washes to follow suit to keep market share.

When there is a Prisoner’s Dilemma everyone loses. But what strategies can you adopt to avoid these situations and beat out your competitors?

  1. Know your company. A company must know it’s strengths and weaknesses. These are your competitive advantages. Smart business owners analyze their business and perform competitive analyses of competing car washes. Businesses should continually perform SWOT analyses to stay ahead of competition. Let’s assume your advantage is the superiority of your equipment or employees. Your marketing efforts should focus on letting customers and prospective customers know this.
  2. Know your customers. Your customers may be your biggest competitive advantage! Loyal customers are your best marketing tool. They will be your spokespeople. Try setting up an email marketing system to communicate with your customers or welcome feedback. Surveys are always helpful.
  3. Know your competitors’ weaknesses and don’t ignore yours. You have to realistically evaluate what aspects of business your competitors are doing better than you are. If your competitors are offering a low-cost car wash, let them. Establish your brand as the highest quality solution in the area and adjust pricing accordingly and realistically.
  4. Superior Marketing. Some businesses, like Nike, have a competitive advantage with their marketing alone. In the case of Nike, it is their brand, advertising, and channel management. To gain a competitive advantage in marketing for your car wash you can try fundraising techniques, build a website, start an email marketing/email survey campaign, or direct mail, or start a blog. A phone call to Wolford Communications could help you employ all of these solutions.

If you find yourself in an area with little differentiation among car washes and you are forced to drop prices or you are losing business to competitors, marketing-minded strategies are the only solution. Turn your biggest fear into your biggest advantage. Don’t drop your prices, increase your quality. Perform analyses of your competitors, your own business, and your customers. Use this intelligence to establish or enhance your identity and employ sound marketing solutions.