Your fleet could be a powerful mobile marketing tool, helping your brand to gain recognition wherever your drivers go.
Imagine a mobile advertisement moving across the country and promoting your business everywhere it goes. That’s how you should think of your fleet. Everywhere your colleagues go, people recognise your brand and begin to bear it in mind as a reliable leader in the marketplace.
Whatever type of vehicle you run, from cars through to lorries, your company vehicles give you the ideal opportunity to raise your profile and get noticed.
So what’s the best way to get started? We asked a number of successful fleet operators and branding experts for their top tips. Here are ten of our favourites.
1) Maximise the impact
The chances are your vehicles won’t attract lots of attention, but just the odd glance from people they pass. So give your fleet the best possible chance of being noticed. One tried and tested way of catching the eye is to use strong visuals.
“Branding vehicles is a cost-effective way of advertising and potentially reaching a huge number of people who might not spot you in a magazine or on the internet.”
Lizzie Ginbey, Director, Teapot Creative Ltd
Graphic designer and branding expert Lizzie’s advice is to sign write your company vehicles both on the side and the rear. Make sure your logo is large and clear too, as people will probably be viewing it from quite a distance.
2) Keep it simple
People haven’t got time to decipher a clever headline or read a lot of copy. So spend time distilling your message down to a strong strapline that really grabs people’s attention.
“The most successful company vehicles are the supermarket home delivery vans with great lines like ‘You shop, we drop’ or ‘Freshly clicked’. Passers-by take in these messages without even thinking about them.”
James Atherton, Managing Director, New Century Design
3) Make it easy to get in touch
Along with your logo and strapline, another must-have is your contact details. Make sure people know exactly how to get in touch with you.
“I’ve frequently used specific building trades after seeing their branded vans outside a property and jotting down their phone number,” explains James Cramp, a partner at Socio Design in London.
4) Make sure your drivers are your ambassadors
Your vehicles symbolise your business. So make sure they’re being driven appropriately. Dangerous or arrogant driving can irritate other road users, and that’s not something you want your business to be associated with.
As Peter Barkwill, chief executive of quarrying company John Wainwright and Company, explains: “The branded lorries driven by our hauliers are a public reflection of our image.”
5) Choose the right vehicles for your business
“We need cars that are reliable, comfortable and spacious.”
Julian Mack, Chief Executive, Threshold Sports
It sounds obvious, but any mistake here could cost your business reputation dearly. Think carefully about exactly what you need from your vehicles. Jot down your business needs, and the needs of your clients too.
6) Think about the brand
Whether it’s business or pleasure, the car we drive says a lot about us. So give some thought to the type of image you want to project, and choose vehicles that could help you achieve it.
Philip Gibson, managing director of agricultural PR company Reverberate PR Ltd, says, “When choosing cars, we favour manufacturers that resonate with our client base, and communicate something of what we stand for.”
7) Don’t be shy
Depending on the industry you operate within and your brand, you might want to use your fleet to make a statement. If your brand is quirky, innovative or premium, your vehicles could help you express those attributes.
8) Recruit and retain talent
You want to be sure you attract the best employees for your business, and your fleet can act as a great incentive for people to join you.
“By offering a free choice of company car, we enhance our appeal among potential staff.”
Helen Smith, Director, Leap Environmental
9) Stay safe
By putting road safety first, you can demonstrate your credentials and enhance your brand. “No one wants to be cut up or driven into by a branded company car,” explains Volvo’s Head of Business Sales, Selwyn Cooper. “Invest in driver training to enhance the safety of your fleet, and choose vehicles with technology and innovation that aids safe driving.”
Careful thought here could safeguard your reputation and also save costs for repairs and downtime, as your colleagues will be less likely to have an accident.
10) Be green
Your customers may well judge you on your environmental credentials. By choosing vehicles that have a minimal carbon footprint, you can show that you’re committed to making a difference. It could even save you money too.
Read more articles at VQ online.