By Robert Bravender
Royalty Auto Service wasn’t always “regal.” For quite a while this repair shop in St. Marys — “about as southeast as you can possibly get in Georgia without being in Florida” — was simply called Auto Care.
“Which was boring,” commented Sherwood Cooke III, son of owner Sherwood Cooke Jr. and the shop’s service advisor. “My dad bought it like that back in 1996 and kept that name for a long time.”
At that time Sherwood III — or “S3” as he became known in office shorthand — was 19, and started in the shop doing service work. By his own admission, “not a technician by any stretch,” after about four years out back, he moved up front where he took a more active role in the business, working as a service advisor, and more pertinently, aiding with marketing.
“[We] started working really hard on the branding,” he reported. “We had a good reputation; we’ve been here a long time, but we had never really focused in on the branding aspect and how important that is.”
Since the Auto Care label lacked luster, at first they were going to change it to…