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If you view your company car or van as just a workhorse, you may be missing out on a fantastic advertising opportunity. According to marketing experts, vehicle graphics (or vehicle branding) is an exceptional advertising medium with few downsides. I had to do some research to find out if this is true and the results aren’t what was expected.
About Vehicle Branding
This form of advertising has been used practically since vehicles became mass produced. In most cases, it was a somewhat simplistic form of advertising which consisted of the company name and perhaps a painted slogan on the side of a van. Nonetheless, it seemed to be very effective since passers-by couldn’t help but notice the vehicle and its message as it drove by.
In the modern era, the artwork may be better, but the premise remains the same. Surprisingly, few companies consider vehicle branding to be little more than an afterthought. If you already have a website and sales team, doesn’t it make sense to go all-out and have a fleet of vehicles providing 24/7 advertising? According to a 2009 study by Nielsen Radio (formerly Arbitron), over 70% of adults notice roadside billboards, which suggests we are drawn to the images and graphics used in advertising campaigns.
Now imagine having what is effectively a mobile billboard travelling all over the country; your company is likely to become known by thousands of new prospects. Picture what this could do for your brand identity. Read on to find out about more advantages of vehicle graphics while I determine if there any disadvantages.
Pros of Vehicle Graphics
- Improve Brand Awareness: As I touched on above, having vehicles with your company logo design on it roaming around the nation increases brand awareness. As you’re aware, customers like to stick with what they know. The guy waiting for a bus may not want football boots today but if/when he decides to buy some, your company will be one of the first that comes to mind.
- Increased Trust: Few things are more important in a consumer’s purchasing decision than trust. When you display your company information on a vehicle for the world to see, it is a sign you are a serious and established organisation. A well-branded vehicle helps prospects understand that you take your industry very seriously.
- Shows Authority: Having a branded vehicle also ensures most consumers assume you know more about your industry than they do. As a result, they will have respect for your knowledge and are likely to listen to what you have to say. Obviously, a greater level of authority means an ability to wield even more influence. As a rule of thumb, influence equals power – this should lead to increased sales.
- Cost-Effective: Vehicle graphics are one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing there is. Although it has similarities with billboards, vehicle branding is far less expensive because you don’t need to change it very often. All you need to do is make sure your vehicles are maintained, and that’s more or less it.
Cons of Vehicle Graphics
To be honest, I didn’t find a lot of negatives about vehicle signage, but there are a few things to think about.
- Initial Price: This is only a downside if you have a large fleet of cars or vans. Having all of them wrapped professionally can be expensive and impact your cashflow a bit. You can decide the overall cost; perhaps you could paint only a few vehicles to begin with and complete the job once you have more money and understand how effective this form of advertising is.
- You Need Vehicles In Good Shape: It is very difficult to place decals on vehicles that are damaged or rusted. Vinyl wraps are normally used in vehicle graphics, but they won’t stick to vehicles that are repainted, and if you place wraps on vehicles with dents or another kind of exterior damage, the result will not be as aesthetically pleasing as you would like.
- Tracking ROI: Although most advertisers claim vehicle branding ROI is impressive, it is very hard to accurately measure if this is the case. You might be able to look at data such as local road traffic data and things like that, but you can’t really determine how many sales have occurred as a direct result of a consumer seeing the ad on one of your vehicles.
Are vehicle graphics worth it for your company?
You should certainly consider using vehicle branding as part of your company’s marketing strategy. Having what is effectively a moving billboard can only do good things for your business. With a website and blog, you can target indoor prospects and with vehicle branding you can target those who are away from their computers. This form of advertising also means no vying for space with competitors, as you remain one step ahead.