The Challenge

A thriving, family-run automotive services chain in the greater Salt Lake City, Utah, area wanted to boost the visual experience in its stores. The company set a goal to eliminate situations where posters continued to display promotions beyond their expiration dates, and to improve the timeliness and accuracy of marketing messages, attracting new customers. 

The Solution

"It's so visual, and so awesome." – Brandon Burt, General Manager

The Results

About Burt Brothers

Burt Brothers Tire & Service was founded by brothers Wendel and Ron Burt in 1991, and since then has expanded to 11 locations in Utah, providing automotive services along the state’s Wasatch Front. Now owned and run by younger family members, the company has retained a reputation for having the best, most knowledgeable and skilled technicians and team members, and the most up-to-date tools and equipment.

The Challenge

Attracting and Informing Customers With Eye-Catching, Up-to-Date Digital Signage

Brandon Burt had a problem. The general manager of Burt Brothers would walk into one of the 11 automotive services stores he runs, and see posters on windows and walls for promotions that had expired — encouraging customers to ask for deals that were no longer available.

Busy store managers, with a lot to do each day, were simply forgetting to take down promotional posters on specific calendar dates.

Creating, printing and delivering all the messaging he wanted month to month also posed a logistics challenge. With in-house print capabilities at the company warehouse, turnarounds for posters were quicker and less costly than if a third-party print shop was used. But it still took time and resources.

Burt Brothers stores had, for several years, been running a basic digital menu board system that notified customers of core services pricing, as well as seasonal offers, such as fall tire changes for motorists who ski in nearby mountains. Burt liked the visual impact of full color, full motion screens in stores, and added three digital poster displays in a main downtown store.

But those regular digital signage displays facing the counter and customer waiting areas were doing nothing to boost store traffic and raise awareness of specials for arriving motorists. Burt wanted visual beacons that would reach out to the parking lot and beyond — but not if they disrupted the contemporary design of his stores, which he considers far different from his mostly old-school competitors.

The Solution

High-Brightness Dual-Sided Displays Optimize Messaging on Both Sides of the Window

Burt Brothers worked with local digital signage solutions provider Revel Media Group, a Samsung partner, to both revise and expand its use of digital signage technology in its stores, starting with a primary location in downtown Salt Lake City.

Revel provides a steady flow of fresh motion graphics material that aligns with online and other marketing efforts by Burt Brothers. It also does technology and deployment work, and recommended a multitasking, dual-sided display as the optimal solution for reaching customers both inside and outside stores.

Additionally, Samsung worked with Premier Mounts to create a single-day, seamless installation of the display inside the storefront that had no negative impact on productivity or business flow.

Samsung markets an impossibly thin large-format LCD display, intended for window spaces, that has a super-bright 3,000-nit screen facing outside, and on its rear, a high-brightness 1,000-nit screen facing into the store.

The outside screen has the lighting power and engineering design to shine through even the glare of direct sunlight. The inside screen, while only a third as bright, is still substantially brighter than “regular” commercial displays, ensuring content can be easily viewed even when sunlight fills the reception and wait areas of stores.

The dual-sided design offers some key benefits:

  • Putting screens in windows, facing outside, normally means the backside facing into businesses is a blank sheet of painted metal, or a wall of plastic and cables. With the dual-sided display, that otherwise dead visual space is used as a second screen, and even the cable for power is hidden away inside the thin mounting bracket, ensuring a clean look.
  • Though super-thin, the engineering design of the dual-display unit has the built-in smarts to allow distinct messaging on each screen.

Burt Brothers is now running full-screen promotional offers and other messaging on the outside-facing screens, and different content with a split-screen layout inside for customers, who have more time to see and absorb messaging. Along with promotions, content includes video spots from tire vendors and helpful auto-related tutorial videos.

The outside screen is intended to draw people in, says Burt, the chain’s co-owner with a brother and three cousins. “Inside, the screens are for people coming in, who we can remind how big we are, in terms of what we offer,” Burt said. “In case they come in for one service, and we don’t remember to ask them if they need anything else, it gets them thinking about our other offerings they could need now or in the future.”

“There’s always a sale going on in every store you walk into,” adds Burt, “so this gets customers thinking, and provides stuff for our people to talk about.”

The content mix includes evergreen, always-relevant messaging about battery checks and wiper blade replacements, as well as seasonal messaging like reminders and special offers on snow tires and spring tune-ups.

The Technology

OMN-D Series 46

The Samsung OMN-D dual-sided display offers a window-facing screen with 3,000 nits, and an interior-facing screen with 1,000 nits. Each side can run individual content simultaneously.

The Results

Double the Screens, Double the Business

“Revel came in at the start of the project,” recalls Burt, “and said, ‘This is what you should do, and this is why you should do it.’ And now that we’ve put those screens in a store, it’s totally proved itself.”

The first location, in downtown Salt Lake City, saw one dual-sided screen added to the digital signage posters and menu displays already in place. It was part of a broader store refresh that included a refurbished showroom, new equipment and additional staff.

The technology deployment has had a positive impact, and Burt says that business there has since doubled. That big sales jump was more than enough to convince Burt and his family business partners that a second location, in Bountiful, would be installed with a pair of dual-sided screens.

“Whenever I pull up to a store that has [Samsung displays], our brand and our colors just pop. It’s so visual, and so awesome.”
— Brandon Burt, Burt Brothers GM

If and when the budget numbers work out, the owner group would like to see the screens used in all existing and planned new locations.

Numbers aside, Burt thinks the dual-sided screens and the general effort put into digital signage at his company’s stores sends a distinct visual message to new and prospective customers.

The auto services business, in reception and waiting areas, and in their overall look, has changed very little since decades ago. Design and service delivery is trapped in time for most operators. “I don’t want to be that guy,” says Burt, proud of his company’s innovation efforts. “I won’t be that guy.”

He also, more simply, loves what the Samsung displays deliver in pure visuals. “Whenever I pull up to a store that has them, our brand and our colors just pop,” he enthuses. “It’s so visual, and so awesome.”

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Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes is a well-known veteran in the digital signage industry. He consults to some of the world’s largest brands on their digital signage strategy and technical needs, but also spends time mentoring start-ups. A former daily newspaper journalist, Haynes has for the past decade written a highly-respected blog about digital signage, Sixteen:Nine. Follow Dave on twitter @sixteennine

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