Q&A with Derik Beck

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Derik Beck

Our team at Franchising USA had a chance to sit down with Derik Beck, vice president of digital marketing for Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care. We were excited to learn more about Cottman’s future growth plans, the brand’s educational video series and Derik’s advice for those looking to open their own franchises.

Our questions are in bold. Hope you enjoy reading.

What is your professional background?

Throughout my career, I have held various management roles within global organizations and within those roles I had the opportunity to lead interactive web projects, launch corporate and product websites, oversee social media programs, including public relations efforts and forge strong partnerships with key outside partners.

How has your background prepared you for your current role with Cottman?

Currently, I oversee all digital aspects specifically for Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care including SEO, social media and the national and local franchise websites. My responsibilities also include leading public relations and marketing efforts for the Cottman brand, budgeting P&L, as well as assisting in franchise development efforts.

How does Cottman differentiate itself from other auto repair franchises in the U.S.?

With franchised locations across the U.S., Cottman is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Our services include complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and more.

As for the ways that our brand differentiates itself, we always make it a point to put our loyal customers and the community first. Not only do we commit ourselves to giving our customers excellent auto repair experience, we also have close ties to the community.  Most of our franchisees are closely involved with their local charities, non-profits and hospitals. The way we see it, we cannot become a true community partner unless we are fully immersed within our neighborhoods and striving to make them a better place all-around.

With franchised locations across the U.S., Cottman is a transmission and auto repair brand that services almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Our services include complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and more.

As for the ways that our brand differentiates itself, we always make it a point to put our loyal customers and the community first. Not only do we commit ourselves to giving our customers excellent auto repair experience, we also have close ties to the community.  Most of our franchisees are closely involved with their local charities, non-profits and hospitals. The way we see it, we cannot become a true community partner unless we are fully immersed within our neighborhoods and striving to make them a better place all-around.

Where do you see Cottman in the next five years?

In five years, we see Cottman only further solidifying its reputation as one of the nation’s most trusted auto repair centers. Since the brand’s founding in 1962, we have been welcomed into more than 50 communities throughout the nation and look forward to working with our centers on expanding their neighborhood footprint.

Who is your typical franchisee?

Our typical franchisee is passionate about owning a business and working within their respective community.  While a person does not need to have mechanical or technical experience, they do need to be customer service oriented.  Additionally, a franchisee should have an entrepreneurial drive and a desire to control their own destiny through business ownership.

What type of support does Cottman provide its franchise partners?

When a franchisee joins the Cottman team, they also gain a wide range of support from our dedicated home office and franchise system. We take great pride in giving our franchisees one-on-one attention, an excellent franchise training program and full marketing and PR support.

Do you have any advice for our readers who are exploring franchise opportunities? 

When choosing the best franchise to invest in, it is imperative to make sure that the franchise’s mission statement is one that you can get behind and advocate for. Also, perhaps the most important piece of advice, is to ensure that the franchise you are committing yourself to is one you are enthusiastic and passionate about. Some franchises end up becoming a life-long endeavor, so you want to ensure you are making a wise investment for the long-term.

Could you tell us about Cottman’s Educational Video Series? 

The Cottman Man Educational Video Series was released back in February, and we added additional videos for April in honor of National Car Care Month. Featuring the brand’s signature Cottman Man as an animated character, the videos provide user-friendly tips on topics relating to car care, such how to address annual car service needs, routine maintenance, road trip precautions and many more relevant consumer preventative and proactive car care tips. He’s an image of the very best in each of us: our centers and ourselves. And he’s someone we want to emulate every day in our centers, all across the country. Presenting him as an animated character for our web sites allows us to breathe new life into our most cherished concept: serving the motoring community.

We created this video series as a fun and informative way for our loyal and growing base of customers to learn more about how to avoid car problems, and what to do if they occur. Putting the animated Cottman Man to work in these short videos helps to demystify car care for our customers by solving common car problems. We strive everyday to garner respect from our consumers, and the video series is a sincere way for us to show the depths to which we care.

www.cottman.com/videos