New Book Highlights How Enterprise Holdings Builds Brand Loyalty
According to marketing and customer service expert Kirk Kazanjian, building a successful company today means creating "an unbreakable bond of loyalty between your customers and employees." Now, his latest book Driving Loyalty: Turning Every Customer and Employee Into a Raving Fan for Your Brand reveals how to do just that.
Kazanjian's book delves into the guiding principles that have propelled Enterprise Holdings to its position as one of the world's largest family-owned companies, with $15.4 billion in annual revenues and a global fleet of more than 1.3 million vehicles. The company's regional subsidiaries operate the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, and include car rental and car-sharing services, commercial truck rental, corporate fleet management and retail car sales. Not only does this extensive network provide a unique and competitive advantage, but so does its financial strength, with the company having the lowest debt-to-equity ratio and only investment-grade rating in the U.S. car rental industry.
In Kazanjian's view, a major factor behind this growth and success is that the Taylor family of St. Louis has never lost sight of a simple and fundamental business philosophy: take care of customers and employees first, and growth and profits will follow. The Taylors have owned and operated the company since it was founded with only seven cars in 1957.
Kazanjian's first book about Enterprise, Exceeding Customer Expectations, was published in early 2007. Later that same year, the Taylors made the largest acquisition in car rental history when they purchased the National and Alamo brands. Driving Loyalty updates the Enterprise story and chronicles how the company met the challenge of integrating and differentiating three distinct car rental brands, especially during one of the biggest economic downturns in U.S. history. Today, the entire Enterprise Holdings brand portfolio is generating some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the company's history.
Sustainable Business Practices
In a chapter titled "Build a Sustainable Business," Kazanjian explores the positive impact of sustainable business practices on attracting and keeping customers. As a family-owned business, Enterprise is uncommonly in tune with the need to operate for the long term with the next generation in mind, continuously balancing the interests of customers, employees and the parts of the world touched by its business. This approach aligns with Kazanjian's observation that consumers increasingly look to support businesses that operate against a triple bottom line of economic, environmental and social performance.
For companies like Enterprise, sustainability can be a powerful source of brand loyalty:
"....So what does sustainability have to do with driving customer loyalty? A lot, as it turns out. Today's customers have a strong interest in doing business with companies committed to sustainability ... To meet customer demand, and demonstrate its commitment to bringing alternative technology to the rental car market, Enterprise has increased the number of hybrid and electric vehicles in its fleet. 'Ensuring that the passenger vehicle remains acceptable and economically viable to society is a huge part of our drive toward sustainability,' says CEO Andy Taylor. 'We know that investing in new technologies now will create value for us, our customers, and the community in the future. In fact more than half of our entire fleet consists of fuel efficient vehicles.'"