The most powerful marketing vehicle available to contractors is, well, their vehicles. A good, well-designed, professional wrap will do more for brand awareness and positioning than anything else one can do for the same advertising spend. Here are nine ways to make a contracting company’s truck wraps more effective.

1. Make Sure the Company’s Brand Dominates — Suppliers can be valuable partners, but unless the contracting company has exclusive rights to those brands in perpetuity, the only brand a contractor should care about on its vehicles is its own. Remember, a contractor’s brand is the only one it has a monopoly on. It’s the only brand that cannot be purchased from another contractor.

2. Use Any Color Except White — One of the purposes of a wrap is color. White is not a color; it’s the absence of color. White trucks blend in with all of the other white trucks. White trucks do not stand out. Make them memorable. Make them a different color. If possible, pick a color that no one else in the market uses.

3. Don’t Be Impulsive — Wraps give trucks so many more capabilities than they’ve ever had, and there’s a tendency to go crazy. The end result is a confusing, cluttered muddle. Nothing stands out. Just because have new capabilities are available doesn’t mean they need to be stretched to their fullest. Use constraint when designing trucks.

4. Go Big or Go Home — The brand should be large. Huge. Enormous. It should dominate the entire design. If it’s the only thing that comes across, it’s plenty. Remember, most people get a second or two to notice and recognize the company’s brand. If they can only notice one thing, that’s the one thing they should notice.

5. Play to Our Instincts — As homo sapiens, our DNA is wired to notice differences. It’s primitive. We see something out of the norm, and we can’t help but notice and instinctively consider whether we fight or fly. We expect logos on trucks to be on the horizontal plane. When they are not, it causes us to pay attention. So cantilever your logo around 15 degrees. It’s against the expectation, so, almost against their will, people will be compelled to pause and take note.

6. Use Contrast — We notice contrast. The opposite of contrast is camouflage. Camo is good for hunting, because it allows a subject blend in to his or her surroundings. Contrast is better for truck wraps because it allows a vehicle to stand out. Make sure the company’s logo contrasts with the truck’s background.

7. URLs Over Phone Numbers — Contractors used to consider it important to make phone numbers prominent on their trucks. It’s very unlikely anyone will write down or call a phone number from a truck. If the company has an alpha number (e.g., 1-800-HOLIDAY for Holiday Inn), someone might remember it. Otherwise, no, it’s not happening. So, leave the phone number off, except for the back where the right messaging on the back of the truck could lead to someone calling if he or she’s stuck behind a truck at a long traffic light. Instead, plaster the company’s website URL big and minimize the phone number.

8. Position With Your Unique Selling Proposition — The business’s unique selling proposition, or USP, is the reason someone chooses one company over another. This should be a very brief, unique statement about what the company does. It’s a reason for people to buy from a specific company. If a contractor has a USP, it should be on its vehicles. The brand should dominate, followed by the website, and then the company’s USP.

9. Create a Special Truck — A few years ago, super contractor Ben Stark was approached by one of his technicians. The tech wanted to wrap a truck pink and donate a portion of the truck’s profits to a breast cancer research fund. The tech thought it would help him pick up chicks. He was right. Women wanted their picture taken next to the truck so they could post it on social media. The special truck, usually pink, has been copied by contractors in the Service Roundtable from coast to coast and in Australia. It works.

Is there more? Of course; however, following these tips will set a company’s truck identification program far ahead of the bulk of its competitors.

Publication date: 8/1/2016

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