Turn your fleet into an advertising asset

Branded vehicles are seen by 3 000 potential customers every hour they are on the road. Fleet vehicle advertising boosts name recognition 15 times more than any other form of advertising, and truck advertising has been rated as the second most effective form of outdoor media (AMPS 2010). With statistics like these it is worthwhile considering using your fleet as an advertising platform.

“The return on investment for fleet branding is substantial and is one of the highest for any media platform,” says Murray Price, managing director of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, which has been advising clients to reduce the TCO (total cost of ownership) of their fleets by using their vehicles for mobile advertising.

“Companies tend to think of only branding trucks, but branding company sedans is equally as effective and should be included in the marketing mix.”

Advantages of fleet branding include:

High visibility – depending on the size of your fleet, your branded vehicles will be seen by thousands of potential customers on a daily basis. Your advertisements will travel into the view of the customer instead of waiting for the customer to see them on television, in newspapers or on radio. The lead possibilities from mobile exposure are nearly endless. In fact, many businesses gain more contacts and customers from vehicles wraps than from their websites. Additionally it is consistent road users who are most likely to see the advertisements. These people tend to be employed and therefore have a higher income. They are probably in your market.

Local advertising – vehicle wrap advertising is targeted because a company is likely to be advertising to its local market. The people who will see the vehicle wrap will be the people in the area who will frequently perceive the vehicles to be delivering goods or services to neighbours, and therefore assume the products are being used and enjoyed in the neighbourhood. This generates positive feelings towards a brand.

Increased Security – Custom graphics reduce the risk of hijacking and theft. The graphics make the vehicle easily identifiable and therefore reduces the risk of theft. Factors to consider before deciding on fleet branding include cost and installation time (it can take upwards of a day to apply a vehicle wrap on a truck), inventory management and resale value.

“Fleet costs remain an important element,” says Price.

“Optimising vehicle inventory is a critical task of any fleet, but even more so when vehicles are branded. It is important for fleet operators to anticipate fluctuating volume needs to avoid incurring a surplus.”

“Fleet managers should also ensure that branding the vehicles does not alter budgeted resale value by ensuring the material used for branding can be removed without damaging the vehicle body. Most branding materials used today conform to this standard.”

Branding can be as simple as a company logo or as elaborate as a full colour wrap. The object is to get the message across quickly and clearly as the “advertisement” is a moving object and most often, the viewer will not have a lot of time to read it.

An eye-catching yet simple design will make the best impression, with copy kept to a minimum – in addition to the company name, website address and telephone number, a short tagline can be a memorable addition that will differentiate a company from its competitors.

“Fleet branding is a cost-effective method of advertising and gives added value to a fleet,” concludes Price.

“However, driver behaviour plays an important role – bad driving can send a negative message to your target markets, communities and other drivers. Controlling driver behaviour not only improves company/product image, but also reduces vehicle operating costs and remains a critical element of any fleet operation.”