Rebranding can be a scary proposition.
As anyone who has changed their style can attest, it’s risky yet potentially rewarding.
I’ll give you two personal examples:
Spring 2000: A 17-year-old during Eminem mania, I bleached my already strawberry blonde hair.
At a lifeguard meeting soon after, the manager of the pool where I was working joked (but not really) that no other employees should go for this look.
Fake Slim Shady, please sit down.
Summer 2008: During a visit to, ironically, that same pool, my then-girlfriend, who is now my wife, told me she liked my unshaven look and that I should consider growing a beard.
Done and done.
Not shaving during a swampy August in North Carolina was no fun, but the beard has, ahem, grown on me.
Aside from a brief hiatus or two, I’ve now had the beard for the better part of a decade.
And it’s become like a favorite pair of sunglasses, baseball hat or blue jeans. Just can’t go without it. What’s more, I don’t think a lot of folks would recognize me without it.
We’re changing our look a bit at Used Car Week, too. And in terms of the new looks described above, we think it’s going to have the impact of the latter rather than the former.
Most importantly, we have a new format.
Our conference team analyzed data from post-event surveys and chatted with participants one-on-one.
What that uncovered was a need to expand the auto finance and repossessions topics, and adjust the certified pre-owned conference into a more comprehensive look at the entire retail used-car market.
So, we adjusted the format for Used Car Week.
The conference will now consist of two blocks. The first will consist of the Pre-Owned Con, the Auto Fin Con and the Repo Con. The second will be National Remarketing Conference and NAAA Convention.
As far as logistics, we will continue to provide more details as Used Car Week draws closer. But the gist of it is, attendees will have the opportunity to attend either 1st Block, 2nd Block or both with an all access registration.
And within each block, it’s “choose your own adventure.” If you are a 1st Block attendee and want to attend Pre-Owned Con workshop in the morning and an Auto Fin Con in the afternoon, go for it.
More details on those blocks below:
Block 1: Monday through Wednesday
Pre-Owned Con: Sessions in this conference will focus on analytics, data and big-picture vision, strategies and technologies that are impacting the overall retail used-car market. (Again, beyond just certified pre-owned).
Auto Fin Con: Sessions in this conference will focus on the full-spectrum of auto financing in the used-car market, from subprime to prime.
Repo Con, presented by MBSi: Sessions in this conference will focus on solving pain point issues within this critical segment of the auto finance space that manages repossessions, recoveries and regulations.
These three topic-specific conferences will be held concurrently and will offer workshops, panel discussions and keynote presentations specific to each conference.
Block 2: Tuesday through Friday
The NRC/NAAA agenda will feature the traditional NAAA Convention schedule and social events in combination with NRC’s curated educational sessions addressing the most pressing issues impacting the industry.
To reflect these changes, we also have a new Used Car Week logo. It was designed to reflect the circular nature of the overall used-car industry and weave in elements of the four topic-specific conferences and the NAAA Convention.
In future posts, the team and I will share some of the specific upgrades we are making to the content of each conference.
For now, just know we’ve got a brand new look and we don’t take this change lightly.
Unlike the decision to bleach my hair, there was a lot of thought, analysis and discussion put into this change.
Although there’s one thing the future of Used Car Week does share with the platinum haircut of my youth: it’s bright.