A thought occurred to me yesterday, on my way to our local Halfords. After looking up the parts I needed on my smartphone – to then reserving them for my collection within the hour. Driving no more than two miles down a pleasant enough road over a couple of roundabouts into a car park. Greeted with a smile, and a customary – “Did you find everything you were looking for?”
So, I’m on my way back to the workshop and I can help but think – how would I do all of this if I lived in Cuba?!
I mean really, how do they continue to run a 1956 Chevy BellAir – with no access to spares, parts or a dealer network?!
They improvise, and although on the outside it’s all 56 BellAir – under the hood it’s running an Russian made 8Lt diesel tractor engine made in the 70’s to a 40’s wartime design – that’s fucking brilliant
Okay, Halfords is not perfect, but when you look at it for what it is – it’s amazing, really. When I noticed that a section of vacuum line on the old e46 sport tourer was looking tired and had fine cracks running along the length of the pipe – given that we were about to set out on a 500 mile trip – I was able to – search, order, reserve, collect and replace that vacuum line in less than an hour – and that included helping another customer in the car park with their car….
It’s that level of empowerment, that Halfords affords me – It’s not the convenience, price or customer service – although again all good – It’s the empowerment – and that’s priceless, just ask anyone who’s less fortunate than yourself and that’s where life really rubs – when you loose your own ability to maintain, support or provide.
No, we did not need to call out the AA – the preemptive repair on the vacuum line worked and only cost a couple of quid, but the lessons learned were priceless and invaluable.
I just wish Halfords ad agency planners could get their shitty shoreditch hipster beards around this concept -yes “you fit” – but don’t knock me because I can?
Your agency, like most – don’t really make anything, I should know sad as is it to admit – I was the creative director once…. and you’ve got it so wrong Halfords, so, so wrong – but more on that for another post –
Here’s Halfords misguided take on “us”
vs the reality
and this is how the Cubans do it