Yesterday on her way to work, my wife had a flat tire at the post office. She coaxed her car to the nearest tire shop to see if they could fix the tire, we’d already ruined the spare, Wal-Mart couldn’t repair it when IT went flat a couple of weeks ago. (Funny how there’s never time to fix a spare tire!)
Our little tire shop repaired her tire and had her on her way in a few minutes. Now, we’ve just moved to this small Texas town, and though we’ve lived in Texas for years, what happened next still took me a bit by surprise. My wife inquired about payment, and they wouldn’t hear of it- she needed help and they gave it to her. Well, she decided it was time for some new tires and told them she’d be back in the morning for two.
I went with her this morning for the new tires, and what do you know- on a banner in the front window they proudly proclaimed- "Voted best tire store in Central Texas 2004". Wouldn’t you know it. And the total bill for the two tires was about $20 less than Sam’s, took less time, and we had a fun chatting with the employees. Yeppers, small IS the new big.
The funny thing is that I had a blowout this week as well. And I had precisely the same experience. Maybe it’s something about helping folks with a flat, but what a great example of how easy it is to build a brand when you help someone in need.