Since the advent of digital printers, modern adhesive vinyl, and long-lasting inks, the sky has been the limit as far as vehicle graphic design. And therein lies part of the problem. There are too many choices. There are so many options to choose from that it can easily lead to decision paralysis, and the decision is sometimes “passed off.” So, how do you decide? What is the right look for your fleet graphics? Here are a few points to consider.

The Right Look for Your Fleet Graphics

Know Your Purpose

What do you want to achieve with your fleet graphics advertising? Is it name recognition, lead generation, brand uniformity, or all the above?

What is your organizational mission, and should it be shared on your fleet graphics? That’s an easy one for not for profits. Here’s one example.

“For the last several years, TKO Graphix has completed full wraps on Goodwill Industries 53 foot trailers. The wraps have reflected the public service campaigns and marketing initiatives of Goodwill industries. The full wraps are always eye-catching, creative, and filled with calls to action. Goodwill is a pleasure to work with; it’s an organization TKO Graphix is proud to be associated with.” — Goodwill is More Than a Store, Much More.

Three Semi-Trailers Parked in a Row with Goodwill Graphics

However, what if your business is B2B or B2C, can your mission be part of your fleet graphics? The answer is yes, no, maybe. If your business is like Toms Shoes and their one-for-one model or Bombas Socks, which has donated more than 10,000,000 pairs of socks, then absolutely yes.

However, it’s not only a socially responsible mission that could and should be shared on fleet graphics. What if your mission is to always be on time to customer appointments, offer the best value, or train the most competent employees? Should the problems you solve be shared on your fleet graphics? Probably, it’s certainly something to discuss with your graphic design provider.

Know Your Audience

Who is your target audience what will reach them?

If you’re unsure who your target audience is, start a conversation with your team and your graphic provider by asking the following questions:

  • What problems do you solve?
  • How do you help consumers?
  • Who is your customer?
  • Where does your business excel?
  • What do you do better than anyone?
  • What is your expertise?

Hopefully, these questions will lead to more questions and conversation about your target audience.

Here’s an example 

“Once you know whose problem you solve, you can glean an understanding of who your target audience is. For example, a residential heating and air conditioning provider that offers 24-hour service solves the problem of a furnace dying at the stroke of midnight, in the middle of winter, on Sunday. Obviously, homeowners are a target audience, but what else can be learned? What are the statistics for the life expectancy of HVAC equipment? According to a Frigidaire study, the average life of a furnace is 20 years, air conditioning 16 years, and a heat pump lasts on average 14 years. Therefore, homeowners with a 14 to 20-year-old home are a target audience.” — How to Target your Audience (without breaking the bank)

Know Your Competition

Do you know what your competition is doing? What they do better than you, and where you shine in comparison? When’s the last time you looked at your competitor’s website, social media, or advertising? If it’s been while, you may be surprised at what they’re doing.

“It’s been rumored that during the recording sessions of Thriller, Michael Jackson hung up posters of Prince. Michael was pushed by his contemporary to create the best work of art he could because he knew his rival would be doing the same. As an entrepreneur, I understand that you have a lot on your plate, such as building a product, hiring talent, and iterating on the vision of the company. But, there is a key understanding that I am surprised to see that seed and Series A founders don’t have a great handle on, how do you stand up against competition” — — Why It’s Essential to Know Your Competition

I grew up working in my family’s mom and pop convenience grocery store. Every month dad would hire a sign painter to paint this month’s specials on paper banners to be taped to the storefront window. I remember one such sign advertised Wonder bread at 25 cents per loaf. Dad stocked in a larger than normal supply of bread in anticipation of increased sales. The bread sat on the shelf. We sold less than normal and didn’t know why until a customer informed us that our nearest competitor was selling Wonder bread five for a dollar. We didn’t know what our competition was doing.

If you don’t know what your competition is doing, you could make the same type of mistake.

Know the Benefits 

Whether it’s a print ad, sales presentation, or fleet graphics, focus on the benefits to the consumer. Too often, sales and marketing professionals, put most of the emphasis on what the product or service is – the feature. Some businesses go further and share the advantages of their offerings. But features and advantages aren’t why people buy. It’s not what potential customers want to know. Folks want to know what it does for them.

“Some of the most popular Google searches are people looking for solutions to problems, such as how-to, FAQ, and tutorials. People want answers to their headaches, and the best marketing strategy is to give them headache tablets—the solutions to their problems — the benefit to the consumer.” — Are You Selling the Benefits of Your Product?

I’ll give you an example. If you sold and installed replacement windows, one of the features most likely would be a tilt-in design. The advantage would be that the windows could be cleaned from inside the home. However, don’t assume the prospective buyer realizes the benefit. For me, since I have a fear of heights, the benefit would be no more ladders. A picture of a ladder with a circle and an X would say a lot to me.

Know Your Brand

Not only know your brand but consistently share your brand. Whether you’re advertising in print, on TV, a banner ad, or a fleet graphic, they all need to be immediately recognizable as your brand. One way to achieve this is with a brand guideline, which shares what to do and what not to do with the following:

  • Logo
  • Colors
  • Typography
  • Imagery
  • Voice
  • Story

“Advertising on vehicle graphics is no different in principle to any other form of advertising. Once a strong brand identity has been determined, it must remain consistent and reliable to the consumer. The excitement of vehicular advertising often leads companies to design each vehicle in a striking and visually stunning way, but with a complete lack of consistency across their fleet. If no two vehicles are the same in their use of graphics, or color scheme, then consumers will not consistently identify the brand.” — Vehicle Graphics: How To Achieve Maximum Branding Impact On Wheels  

So, What’s the Right Look for Your Fleet Graphics?

The right look for your fleet graphics is one that stays on brand, tells a story, shares the benefits, and reaches your customer. Before you tackle a fleet graphic change over, take this article to your team and start a discussion. If you need advice, we’d be more than happy to be part of the conversation, don’t hesitate to Contact Us to request a quote today!


Photo by Dale Staton on Unsplash