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    Citgo Emphasizes Image Standards

    Oil company urges marketers to "enhance customer loyalty through a consistent image and shopping experience."

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Image and consistency are the two most important factors in attracting and maintaining loyal customers ? that was the message sent to Citgo marketers by W.A. DeVore, the Tulsa, Okla.-based oil company's senior vice president of marketing, at its 2002 Presidents Meeting in Nashville, Tenn.

    Highlighting the results of a recent customer satisfaction survey, DeVore addressed those things that Citgo marketers said were important in achieving a positive brand image: station appearance and brand value.

    "Our consumer-level research also shows that station appearance is critical in establishing a strong brand image in today's marketing environment," said DeVore. "As a consequence, we have assembled a user-friendly reimage program that is easy on the pocketbook, yet still helps to increase volume and customer loyalty."

    Marty Sedlacek, Citgo's general manager of marketing sales, further emphasized that Citgo and its customers are partners in an industry where participants must meet the standards of tomorrow today. One of the easiest ways to meet those standards is by reimaging locations, a process that:
    * Enhances customer loyalty through a consistent Citgo image and shopping experience;
    * Promotes employee pride;
    * Requires only a month to complete, at which time marketers can access brand enhancement funds for advertising and interior graphics;
    * Is cost effective, with branding materials available at no cost;
    * Enables marketers the potential to cover half of the installation costs; and
    * Allows marketers to meet the requirements of the Citgo Franchise Agreement.

    While many Citgo marketers have already re-imaged their locations, the company has set a target date of December 31, 2003 for all branded marketers to adopt the new image standards.

    In terms of brand value, research confirms that the brand is still one of the top four reasons that consumers choose to patronize a location to purchase gasoline, motor oil or other lubricant products. "The Citgo brand," DeVore said, "is communicated every day in a thousand ways, the most critical of which are happening at each individual station. Together we must collectively focus our energies on helping each and every Citgo location in the country put its best foot forward in terms of street presentation, customer service and cleanliness."

    Citgo hosts its Presidents Meeting every other year for branded marketers and customers.

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