Heavy-duty work trucks are a central part of many businesses and represent a significant capital investment. Whether large behemoths like refuse and concrete trucks or the box trucks that deliver everything from milk to metal, they can and should be an extension of your public facing branding program. Businesses spend significant dollars on advertising and marketing to get their name, products, or services in front of customers and prospects. Now consider how you are using your fleet. Are you maximizing the opportunity? To begin with, fleet branding offers some of the highest impact at the lowest cost and uses assets you already own.
Let’s take a look at the key reasons this is so effective and economical as well as how to make sure you are maximizing the opportunity for your business. Assume for the moment that you are a business owner operating a fleet of 50 trucks. These trucks are circulating in your community among your existing and potential customers where they live, work, and shop. Now, think of these trucks not as your work vehicles but as large mobile billboards. If you were to rent 50 billboards in your target communities, you could expect to pay around $2,500 per month for each (sometimes much more) or $1,500,000 per year— ouch! Remember, you already own these trucks, so once you add your branding—a one-time expenditure— the advertising is free. Let’s take a look at the keys to supercharging your vehicle branding and how to generate a significant return.
KEYS TO VEHICLE BRANDING
• Use a creative and impactful design.
There is a huge difference between vehicle identification and branding. So, a simple decal on the door or side of a truck will not motivate a prospect or customer to remember you or do business with you. A professional, creative design that supports your brand and motivates your prospects is key to reinforcing your customer awareness. Whether spot decals or full wraps, fleet graphics create the opportunity to be a significant touchpoint for the public and, properly done, become a motivator to reach out to your business.
• It’s your image, keep it clean.
OK, you’ve got your award-winning design to support your brand, and your 50 trucks are on the road every day shouting your name. The funny thing about promotion is that it is a double-edged sword. What happens when those 50 trucks are a year old, your graphics are looking a little mousy grey, and the shine and luster are gone? Bottom line: the trucks don’t look great. Are they helping or hurting your image? Here is where your choice of materials is important. There is quite a range of materials used today for fleet graphics; it is always important to use premium quality materials as well as those designed to stand up to harsh environments. Use materials that stay clean, are easy to maintain, colorfast, and will not degrade, even if you forget to wash your truck for a month, or even five.
• You have invested in your fleet, make sure that investment is protected.
Here is where it gets interesting: Always read the fine print as not all warranties are created equal. Remember, you are not in the decal business, so once your task is done and your vehicles are working to enhance your business, the last thing you want to do is spend time and money worrying about your fleet graphics. You want maintenance costs to be limited and replacement costs to be as close to zero as possible.
There are many ways to get the name of your business out there. But when it comes to getting the biggest bang for your hard-earned buck, the answer is clear: vehicle wraps and decals reach the most customers and prospects per dollar spent. Following these key points maximizes your business’ marketing opportunities and uses the resources you already have to get your name at the forefront of prospects’ minds. If done correctly, your fleet branding program can be your secret weapon in promoting your brand and driving down the cost of customer acquisition—not to mention a new, polished look for all your fleet vehicles.