Studies suggest that more than 50 percent of what we communicate comes from our body language and not the words we use. That non-verbal communications works in business, too. In business, it’s not our facial cues and hand gestures sending mixed signals.
Instead, it’s items like our trucks that serve as a vehicle to convey messages we don’t always intend. What current and potential customers ultimately think about the operation might come more from what they perceive than what they are told.
You Are What You Drive: Vehicles As Branding
As the cliché goes: Perception is reality. You might be an upstanding, reliable and fair Bin There Dump That franchise operator (actually, you’d better be), but if you pull up in front of a customer’s property in a truck that has seen better days — maybe a bit of rust is showing through or the dirt is obscuring the company name — then the first impression you make on the client (and surrounding neighbors) isn’t the best.
Would you feel comfortable hiring a lawyer who wore T-shirts and torn jeans? Everything that comes into clients’ views contributes to the overall impression they form about your operation. Think of your company vehicles as an extension of your look. Show up in a shiny, well-maintained vehicle and the first impression clients (and their nosy neighbors have) is that they are dealing with a professional company.
Never underestimate the importance of the look of your vehicles or the employees driving those trucks makes on your brand.
Use Your Vehicle For Advertising
The most obvious advantage of having your company identity splashed across the side of your vehicles is the brand recognition that comes with it. A closer look reveals that your rolling billboard has some distinct advantage over other forms of advertising.
Your vehicle advertising helps you reach more people more often. A company vehicle moves around the community daily; thousands of people may see it every day.
There are plenty of other ways to get information about your company out into the community, of course. The most familiar are radio, television and print (magazines and newspapers). Print, television and radio commercials are powerful tools, but they’re expensive and temporary. If someone doesn’t hear or see your ad, the opportunity is lost. And even if the ad is heard or seen, it takes far more than one ad in any of those media to make an impact on the audience.
The name and phone number on the side of your truck might not have the same impact, but placement is a lot cheaper and generally lasts a very long time.
Think of it as a (nearly) permanent advertisement: If you miss a potential customer one day, you have another opportunity to make an impression the next day at no additional expense.
Why Take Care? The Negative Side
A dirty vehicle tells customers your business doesn’t pay attention or care about the details: “If they can’t take care of their vehicles, how can they take care of my needs?”
Many customers are already reluctant to part with their hard earned dollars. Why provide them with one more excuse (however feeble it might be)?
On a related note, how closely do you pay attention to how your employees drive? Every time one of your drivers rolls through stop signs, speeds, or drives aggressively they are giving potential customers a reason NOT to call your company. Take the time to review your Rules of the Road, and set your expectations for driving etiquette. Everything you do, every truck, every employee reflects on the company.
What kind of impression do you want your vehicles and drivers to leave on potential customers?
For more information on owning a Bin There Dump That franchise, read more of our blog. And if you’re not a franchise owner yet but ready to explore your future as one, take our Franchise Personality Test for unparalleled insight into your potential.