Rolling calling cards

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Picture this: Your company’s mission statement splashed in full color on the side of your truck. Motorists get a fleeting glimpse of what your company stands for, its philosophy and its image. The 2001 Commercial Fleet Graphic contest sponsored by CCJ and the National Private Truck Council, Alexandria, Va., recently recognized the top individual and corporate commitments to excellence in commercial vehicle design. Red Gold, Inc., Orestes, Ind., placed first in the Day Category, and its red tomato graphics garner raves wherever they run.

The fresh, juicy tomato graphic exudes the very image of premium quality, and there’s no doubt consumers are positively impacted by the stunning graphics. But, the company gets more than just a rolling billboard for tomato products – the truck graphics reinforce the premium quality products of the company and its overall image.

Greg Metzger, director of marketing for Red Gold, says its mission statement is a one-line statement created by the employees: “To produce the freshest, best tasting tomato products in the world!” Its mission is simple, to the point and perfectly portrayed on the sides of their trucks. The advertising campaign includes all other media, in addition to the fresh and premium quality message turning heads down the highways.

“Our trucks get attention on the docks from our customers and generate a positive buzz wherever they go,” Metzger says. Along with incredible feedback from customers, he says interested truck drivers have inquired about employment. “The trucks create a favorable impression among truckers who make the quality connection to the company itself.”

What about your company? If yours is a private fleet, you probably already recognize these rolling billboards as a valuable advertising medium for your company’s products and brand image. For-hire carriers, however, rarely take advantage of this space. In times of increased competition, how can your company’s image stick in the mind of customers and potential drivers?

Graphics aside, a clean, well-maintained fleet driven by professional, well-groomed truckers should be your basic rolling calling card. True, some for-hire carriers have experimented with patriotic motifs or jazzy designs, but it’s an idea that’s still pretty new and wide open.

Here’s an exercise to try. If you were going to paint your trucks with a design that summed up your corporate mission, what would come to mind? First, there has to be a philosophy and a mission. That sounds obvious, but maybe it’s time to freshen up your statement, make it short and to the point, easily remembered and visually displayed. Even if you can’t afford the graphics, you can’t afford not to be thinking about ways to set yourself apart from the pack. After that, the sky is the limit.