Twenty years ago Phil Restivo, president of LeGrande Affaire Limousine Service, started his company with one limo. Today, the northern California-based operation encompasses a fleet of more than 50 vehicles that range from moderate to exotic in style.
For Restivo the marketing degree he obtained in college has led the way to his success. With a focus on overall service from start to finish, Restivo markets his company through “elegant or promotional packages” of all shapes and sizes.
Packages include anything from T-shirts, hats, champagne and champagne flutes, and any other items the staff can place inside an elaborate cooler, says Melanie Maloy, the company’s corporate account supervisor for the past two years.
During promotional events the company gives out nail files, key chains, license plate frame, sewing kits and mints; all with the company’s logo on them to remind customers of Le Grande Affaire’s services.
“The larger packages [which usually have more promotional items in them] go to the VIP clientele - large corporate accounts, the decision makers of corporations,” Maloy says, while the smaller packages, which have fewer promotional items, go to events like bridal fairs and when the Le Grande team visits corporations.
“On every charter, the contract holder gets a ‘surprise gift,’ which consists of a smaller scale package and is different every time.”
Since Restivo started using this concept of marketing through novelty or promotional items, about 15 years ago, the packages have generated an extremely positive response with LeGrande’s clientele.
“Phil came with up the different marketing ideas by observing the marketplace and seeing what attracted people,” Maloys says. “A lot of it was also trial and error - determining what would work for our company. Results [have included] customer loyalty, long term market saturation, word of mouth and attracting new clientele.”
Le Grande Focuses on Building Retail Clients
Since Le Grande has a 50/50 business mix of retail and corporate clients, Restivo came up with another way of attracting customers, especially the retail market, through service packages.
With more than 20 different types of service packages, clients can choose from a variety of specials like the “sightseeing tour” package, which includes a champagne brunch and spectacular sights; the “high roller” package, which takes passengers to lively hot spots Reno and Lake Tahoe; the “Santa Clara Valley Wine Tours,” which features chauffeured service while taking tours of vineyards, and “Carmel By the Sea,” which takes clients to one of the most beautiful beaches, Carmel, for the day along with a champagne brunch.
All packages are featured on the company’s Web site, a href=”http://www.legrandeaffaire.com”>www.legrandeaffaire.com, and the company’s clients love having so many options to choose from.
“All of the packages include complimentary champagne or cider.” Maloy says. “We give [clients] a small bouquet of roses. The chauffer, of course, is in a tuxedo. He rolls out the red carpet.” As a nice memory, the packages also include a keepsake photo for the group, she says.
Cost for these packages ranges from $140 to $700. This typically encompasses the service package of choice and a six-passenger limousine, Maloy says.
For an additional charge, clients also can choose to have a picnic basket as part of the service package, or upgrade the service by adding hours to the package, or upgrading the vehicle.
Customers can upgrade to any vehicle ranging from Lincolns and Hummers to Escalades, Maloy says.
Le Grande will also tailor prices to fit customers’ budgets, as long as it is within reason, and the company tries to always give clients what they want. During slow seasons or sometimes weekdays, the company will offer special deals or promotions to boost business.
“We have pretty much anything [customers] want, and we can do anything they want.” Often times, this means LeGrande expands an all-inclusive package to be tailored the client’s desires.
These service packages are the bulk of LeGrande’s advertising, Maloy says, and are even more effective than the company’s promotional items. “It’s amazing,” she says.
“We market [our service] everywhere from billboards to trucks to magazines. And we get calls all the time about the [service] packages. When people call, we always have to ask, ‘How did you hear about us?’ [People say], ‘Oh, I see you everywhere.’ LeGrande Affaire is everywhere. They see us a lot, whether it is on somebody’s T-shirt or a billboard, and when they think of limos, they automatically think of Le Grande Affaire.”