In a recent post on slideshare.net, Ben Grossman, strategic director at Jack Morton Worldwide, wrote that brands used to be thought of as nouns. By that he means that ad men used to sit around thinking of ways to define the brand — the company concept — as a fixed idea in the minds of consumers.

Now, that’s all changed. Digital media, like Yelp, Facebook, and Google, combined with the old-fashioned word-of-mouth tools (namely, the mouth) have turned brands into verbs, Grossman says. Brands do things: They help the environment, they make you look stylish, they make your car clean without scratching the paint.

“In a world of brands as verbs,” Grossman writes, “what you do in real life is critical to having a real impact.” Because of that, ideas like inviting participation and adding value can help steer the real world conversation about your brand in real ways — because you’re doing real things.

What can car wash businesses do? We’ve already talked about some of them on this blog:

  • In Georgia, a car wash business is adding partners for a drive to create clean drinking water for the 1 billion people who lack it. They’re inviting participation because each car wash at a member location contributes a portion to the fund.
  • The International Carwash Association is similarly recruiting car wash businesses to participate in its WaterSavers program, an industry-wide effort to reduce and reuse water.
  • A car wash chain in Arizona has hired dozens of employees with disabilities, a socially conscious move that customers can choose to support by visiting those car washes.

Those are just three examples. There are many other car wash businesses doing interesting things. If you’re one of them, The Car Wash Business Blog would love to hear from you. Just email us at carwashblog@gmail.com.