Interns tell brand story through web design and content creation

April 16, 2020

The Erwin Center for Brand Communications is proud to partner with Tires Inc of Berea for a website branding project. Tires Inc. is a locally owned and operated auto service center offering tires and general auto repair. For nearly 50 years, Tires Inc. has challenged the perception of the automotive industry by providing a full-service auto-center that does things the right way.

In 2019, the owners sold the company to Ty Thornhill, a former employee, experienced brand leader and Erwin Center board member. Ty helped with the initial planning of the Erwin Center after teaching at Clemson University and has made a lasting impact on students. Prior to Tires Inc., Ty spent 20 years in advertising, supporting national brands like Michelin, Uniroyal and GM.

Given his passion for the automotive and tire industries, Ty currently manages all operations as well as the growth and strategic vision for the company. Part of his growth strategy involved revamping the Tires Inc. website to showcase their unique brand story and key points of differentiation as an auto-center. 

The Erwin Center student team has been tasked with developing visual content, website copy and design recommendations for Tires Inc.’s digital platform. For the course of the semester, the interns have collaborated with Ty to define project guidelines and overall brand vision. In January, the students visited the shop to gather content, interview team members and better understand the brand. By combining class concepts with new brand experiences, these students have worked to translate this brand’s strengths on a digital platform.

The design goals include defining the brand’s key services, sharing the company’s rich history and highlighting their loyal employee base. By combining simplified messaging and emotional appeals on the website, the students hope to minimize fears associated with auto repairs and build customer trust.

“This project gave me the opportunity to become the point of contact for an outside client. The consultation and check-in process helped me learn how to adapt to Tires Inc’s needs and grow in my communication skills,” said intern, Becca Pulsifer. “I also learned to not be scared of learning a new software like WordPress. Initially, I only had surface level knowledge of this website platform. With the support of our team, I was able to investigate how to make this website into a medium that embodies Tires Inc.”

Currently the students are in their final stages of content assembly and are communicating with Ty as they prepare for the website launch. We are excited to see the end result of this branding project as the Erwin Center interns wrap up this semester.