Best foot forward

From the April 2021 print edition

When was the last time you spruced up your fleet? Every vehicle you have represents your brand. After all, it has your company’s logo on it. Every time it is out on the road, it gives the public a glance at your brand. For many, it will be their first impression. You want to make sure you leave a good impression by ensuring your vehicles are in top shape.

Your approach to branding the vehicles in your fleet also contributes to the impression those vehicles make. When designing graphics and decals to put on the trucks, you want to remember:

  1. Keep it simple: Don’t overcomplicate the design. Less is more. You want to keep things professional and limit the design so the information you have mentioned is readable.
  2. The logo is key: It is easier for people to remember your company by its logo. Therefore, the design should centre around the logo.
  3. Include information that allows people to act: You want to limit the information to just essentials for people to contact you. Websites are now more effective than a contact number so mention your URL before anything else.
  4. Stick to basic colours: You want people to identify your business by just looking at the colour of the van. Think of UPS and DHL, both have a massive fleet and are known for brown and yellow vehicles, respectively. Having vans all in the same colour will help people become more aware of your brand, even associating the colour to your brand.

Once branding is sorted out, all you have to do is ensure the vehicles are presentable. The following reasons are why you should invest in your fleet and how the investment will impact your brand.

Meet safety standards, reduce bad PR
Do all your vehicles come equipped with technology that allows your drivers ease and safety on the road? The safety of your driver and others is important. You wouldn’t want one of your vehicles to be the cause of an accident. That would mean you generate bad PR. You’ve probably heard that any type of PR is good since it gets your name out there. But not in this case, such PR can drastically hurt your business.

Covering the basic safety of the driver should be your top priority. This means, ensuring the vehicle
is in shape to be on the road: seat belts work, tires are inflated, cracks on the windshield repaired and so on. Next, you want to equip the vehicles with technology such as a rear-view camera, blind-spot warning and automated emergency braking. These will help reduce the chances of both minor and major accidents. Lastly, you want to ensure all your drivers are trained to be out on the road.

Improve efficiency, improve customer satisfaction
The quality of service your business provides correlates with its brand. If the business is known to ensure quality services then customers will continue to use it and even recommend it to others. The vehicles in your fleet play a major role in the service rendered.

You want to equip it with technology that improves efficiency and ensures timely deliveries. Technology such as a navigation system, so your drivers take efficient routes. You also want to equip it with a telematics and management system that gives you insights into the systems within the vehicle so it limits breakdowns which, of course, lead to delays.

Poorly maintained vehicles reflect badly on your brand
Think of each vehicle as a moving billboard that advertises your brand. You want to make sure that it appears in top shape. That means, dealing with dents, chipping paint and regularly getting them washed. Upkeeping your vehicle will reflect positively on your brand, showing people that you value it.

Save money, boost branding
There are numerous ways you can invest in your fleet, from purchasing management software, upgrading the vehicle’s technology, to the vehicle itself. No matter what the investment may be, it will lead to your business saving some money. For example, equipping the vehicle with management technology that improves fuel efficiency will help you save on costs, because fuel costs are rising. The amount may seem small at first, but it adds up. The amount can be used for branding.

People’s first impression of your company is directly linked to the vehicles in your fleet. If you truly care about leaving a lasting impression, you will need to invest in your fleet. The investment won’t just impact your brand but also improve fleet management and your business’s overall efficiency.

For most, while the investment might appear costly at first, you will end up improving processes, brand image and saving money in the long run. So, it is one of the smartest investments you can make for your business.

Tarek Salam is a Canadian auto glass repair technician at AutoGlassPro.