A couple of years ago, Hodgson Motor Group introduced a new slogan to their business, the ‘Hug of Reassurance’, to help describe the care they put into their used car processes – both before the sale and, most importantly, after. It’s a saying with a lot of meaning behind it that ties in seamlessly with the family values of a family-run business such as Hodgson: just like a family member, they’re there for you no matter what, and you can speak to them about anything, especially if a situation changes. It’s a simple mantra that seems to have lost its way in retail slightly, over the last few years. No relationship is without its ups and downs, it requires work, and the ‘Hug’ is Hodgson’s promise that they will do everything they can for you on your journey together. After all, it’s a hug, a symbol of comfort that you know means everything will be alright.
This slogan was created completely off-the-cuff but the Group have been using it as a proud part of their business ever since, as it just felt the most natural of fits. However, there was something Hodgson had forgotten about and a lightbulb moment hit: they needed to create a ‘Hug’ logo! The first thought was to design one in-house but it was soon realised that that didn’t make any sense. Instead, why not talk to Hodgson customers, the very people who’d experienced the ‘Hug’, and let them design it?
Hodgson got in touch with their loyal fans and set up a competition, with a £200 Red Letter Day voucher prize, for the best design. They weren’t expecting the finished product (but would’ve happily accepted!), Hodgson just wanted an idea. They had over 30 submissions from customers, ranging from quaint designs to elaborate paintwork, but it was actually one of the more artistically ‘basic’ submissions that caught the eye. The drawing wasn’t extravagant or colourful, it was just an incredibly simple idea of a man with a pentagonal head (a nice reference to a staple of the business’ branding) smiling and hugging a car – Hodgson felt this was a perfect representation of what the ‘Hug’ is all about. The name of the new van Gogh? Mr. Bill Taylor, a Mazda customer who’s been with the business for a number of years.
Hodgson themselves talked to Mr. Taylor about his winning design. When asked about how he came up with his submission, Mr. Taylor responded “it was really quite simple, actually, I knew to focus on the hug so drew a man hugging a car. Hodgson have a pentagon in their logo so it made sense to draw someone with a pentagon-shaped head! We kept the ‘H’ for the nose as that’s the style of the stickers they put on the car windscreens – I just wanted it to be nice and simple, nothing for people to work out”. Of course, the big question was how would Mr. Taylor be using his prize voucher – “we don’t really ever win anything like this, we were very surprised, the Grandkids don’t believe us! I think Pam and I, my wife, will be going for a nice trip away. When we’re not looking after our Grandkids, I’m usually working hard in the garden so it’d be nice to just go somewhere to relax and enjoy”.
Lastly, Hodgson asked their master designer what keeps him coming back to the Mazda Gateshead dealership – “I like Mazdas having owned a few over the last few years! The cars are reliable but I get great service at the dealership whenever I go, everyone’s just nice and it feels like a good place to be”.
Hodgson Motor Group pride themselves on their customer service and transparency, if you’d like to know more about the care they put into used cars, simply go to ‘About Us’ section. Scrolling down the page, they have their used car checklist so you can see for yourself the tests the vehicles go through to make sure they’re of the highest standard. After all, every car is a new car in Hodgson’s eyes!