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Recruitment: I want to be a...brand manager

In charge of ensuring the customer experience lives up to their expectations, brand managers are an essential part of keeping up the image of dealerships and making sure everything is in line with the manufacturers’ standards.

Will Johnson became brand manager for Toyota, Renault and Kia at Inchcape in March last year, and has been working towards the network’s “customer first” motto ever since.

“It’s all about focus on the customer experience,” says Johnson. “So you have to be very customer-centric.”

Johnson has spent the last 12 years working for Inchcape, but his entry into the motor trade came from a chance meeting in a previous job.

“When I worked for Dixons I offered to take a TV I’d just sold out to the customer’s car. It turned out he was the manager of the Lexus dealership in Derby. He asked if I’d ever considered a job in car sales and told me to get in touch if I was interested. I started working there as a sales executive for Toyota shortly afterwards.”

During his time at the dealership, Johnson was a major part of its turnaround from one of Inchcape’s poorest performing dealerships to one of the best. The role of brand manager was a natural progression.

“People have expectations of Toyota, of reliability and the customer experience, and we’re working to deliver what they expect,” says Johnson. “It’s rewarding, but very tough. It can take time to see results happen, and often involves long hours.”

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