Letter comment from Kwikfit

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In this post on a Kwik fit marketing campaign our correspondent was pretty unhappy with the “bubblegum pink” invitation she received to a women only event that was designed to help ladies go over the basics of car maintenance.

Today I got this comment from their Marketing Director.

Hi All,

I’m Chris Bosworth, Marketing Director at Kwik Fit. The wonders of Google alerts brought me to your blog and I wanted to share a couple of comments if I can.

Firstly an apology to MFIF, if we offended you then I’m sorry. We have been running Ladies’ Evenings for a while now in different locations across the UK and the reaction has been really good – it is this that encourages us to keep going. We recently appointed a female manager in our Exmouth centre where we held this particular event – and reacted to the comments of many of our female customers who expressed an interest in learning more about their cars from another woman. We try to get an environment where everyone is comfortable to ask questions about their cars, from the more basic to the advanced. No-one laughs or is made to feel that ‘they should have known that’.. our centre teams try to go through things at the speed that the group is comfortable, with lots of practical examples using the participants own cars. We pitched the invite to try to make it look unintimidating.

We aim at people who are keen to learn a bit to help make them safe and prepared on the road.. most men are probably too proud to admit that they could do with some more knowledge, so we don’t do a men’s event.. (but maybe we should try one..). All our experience suggests that many women are more comfortable asking questions when there are no men around.

I said that was great but maybe the marketing could be a little less… pink.

To which he responded

Point taken – we’ll get to work on some changes to the comms. Thanks for the feedback.

This guy, I like.

MFIF Victory

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13 Responses to “Letter comment from Kwikfit”

  1. Ashley Says:

    Wow, that’s actually really amazing. Which says a lot; that something this small, someone listening to us and saying he’ll look into making changes based on how we fell, is a big deal. Congrats, MFIF. VICTORY DRINKS, ALL AROUND!

  2. Geeky Sweetheart Says:

    HAHA that’s brilliant!!! Congrats MFIF and the original poster! the internet changes the real world!

    x G

  3. H Says:

    This is great! It’s nice that he didn’t get defensive, because I do think that training sessions on car maintenance are a good idea (for both genders), it’s just that the marketing of this did sound pretty misguided. Well done MFIF!

  4. mfif Says:

    He seems like a genuinely nice man who was sorry he had offended. So much of sexism isn’t intentional at all, it’s an accident. He listened, and responded. That’s how things change!

    Hey pls repost etc!

  5. Minerva Says:

    Well done both!

    It would be interesting if Kwik-fit were to run gender-specific and mixed evenings and report the results (turnout, feedback etc.). We all might learn something. 🙂

  6. Luna_the_cat Says:

    Dear Chris Bosworth:

    I live near Aberdeen. There is a Kwik Fit on the road I drive to get to work, so I am definitely in an area where I might be tempted to use Kwik Fit. I, too, would very very very much appreciate a little less “pink” in the campaign. It really isn’t necessary to pinkify everything in order to market to women.

    Thank you.

  7. IMTB Says:

    I wonder if they have female instructors? I think the idea of such an evening without intimidating ‘macho’ know it alls, sounds, actually, pretty comprehensive on their part and I would definitely attend one in my area.
    I would go to one, because I’m actually really into cars and learning how they work and how to fix them. Most of what I know I have learned on the go ‘as and when’ necessary and from manuals, and I know quite a bit from my own research but there’s nothing like a practical run-through by someone in the know. But if it is a women’s only evening, I sure hope the instructors are also female, otherwise it kind of defeats the point!

  8. Jilly Says:

    I think it’s excellent he responded how he did – well done for taking criticism on board and doing something about it. Anyone reading this is going to remember Kwik-Fit so it’s good advertising for them as well.

  9. Alice Says:

    If it’s female to female I guess I see the point, although obviously not patronising pink. For me it would be better though if they were for beginners in general, and then they had women to women only events as a component of it. Then there is the option. Otherwise it suggests only women are beginners.

    But, that grumble aside, rock on MFIF! And this has now reminded me of my Lakeland tale which I should share, and then maybe they might take some notice too…

  10. Sarah Says:

    This response makes me wish I lived in the UK so I could take one of their courses. What a fantastic exchange.

  11. Kevin Lyda Says:

    Actually in that light it’s kind of neat. Might be nice to have similar events for other groups. Geek to geek car repair instruction would be good as well for instance. Something like the Cooking for Geeks book: http://www.cookingforgeeks.com/blog/

    There’s another one for physicists IIRC, but can’t remember the name.

  12. mikki Says:

    It is amazing how powerful it is to encounter someone who listens. WOmen, like everyone else, want to be heard. <–My deep thought of the day!

  13. jesurgislac Says:

    That’s so cool! Chris Bosworth, if you come back to read this, go you!

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