22 Dec 6 Tips for Designing Effective Business Vehicle Graphics
Designing effective business vehicle graphics is a joint effort between you and the company you hire to install them. While you won’t find yourself behind a drawing board or installing a wrap on one of your vehicles, you have some important decisions.
Here are some tips that will help you make the right choices and get your company’s name and message on the road.
1. Hit the Books
Educate yourself about vehicle wrapping technology and the customer impact of vehicle graphics advertising. Go beyond “This seems like a good idea” so you know what to expect. This is true of any marketing push.
Vehicle wrapping is the most visually impactful way to brand your vehicles. A survey in 3M’s Fleet and Vehicle Graphics Guide, found that 98% of consumers thought vehicle graphics created a positive image of the advertiser. More companies than you might think include car and truck wraps in their overall advertising programs, from 8-foot-long scorpions on pest elimination vehicles, to limousine services, food trucks to delivery vans and beyond.
If your company’s located in a dense urban/suburban area like northern California or southern Florida or someplace it can be seen by, literally millions of potential customers in a year. Vehicles acting as four-wheeled business evangelists are cost effective way to reach customers over and over, compared to other media such as television, billboards or radio.
2. Set Goals for Your Program
You may have a limited objective, for example, wanting your industrial delivery trucks to look more professional. Or you may have bigger plans, such as making vehicle branding part of a multimedia campaign to increase sales. Whatever your goals, write them down and refer to them every time you make a marketing decision.
3. Decide on Your Message
Your goals and the size of your company are guides. Your marketing may already have a solid, cohesive plan. But make sure it can translate to vehicle advertising. Take the company that wants its industrial customers to see a better-looking vehicle; the message might be a simple “thank you for your business.” For the company launching an all-media blitz, its advertising agency gurus may specify multiple messages and even different messages at different times.
4. Focus Your Message
Vehicle graphics have enormous reach, but can deliver only a limited amount of information. Remember, the industrial customer seeing your truck in the parking lot or the motorist passing your van on I-95 will look at it for no more than three to five seconds. In that time your vehicle can communicate only four things:
- Its visual appearance
- Your business name
- Business contact information
- A short phrase that captures your message
To achieve this fleeting message for your fleet, work with your marketing team or an outside agency to hone your message to its essence.
5. Select a Business Vehicle Graphics Partner
Well-regarded vehicle wrap companies have all the resources needed to re-create an outstanding design on a car or truck. You can solicit bids and pick the cheapest quote but that’s a recipe for a failure. While price is an important factor there are many others that should shape your decision.
To aid the decision, visit potential companies. Think of them as long-term partners – and find one you will want to work with for a long-time. Share with them your plans and the make-up of your fleet. Then ask questions.
- Who does their conceptual designs?
- Do their designers use 3M VAS software to check the visual impact of their ideas?
- What are the challenges that go with putting graphics on the different vehicles in my fleet?
- Once drawings are made over vehicle-specific templates, is a 3D analysis performed to assure good visuals from all angles?
- What’s a rough cost for a project like this?
- How can you make my vehicle-advertising program better?
- Can I talk to some of your business customers about your performance?
All of this does takes time and energy, but after you’ve done online research it’s an important next step you will not regret. It’s surprising how quickly great providers rise to the top and mediocre players sink out of sight.
6. Put Your Partner to Work
Your chosen partner will take your goals, message and fleet list and return with several proposed designs. Work with their designers to fine-tune their ideas. Make sure you see concepts for every vehicle type in your fleet. Don’t accept designs that “work-around” doors and panels in a way that obscures the design or your message.
Above all, make sure designs are simple, clear and consistent with your goals. If your aim is professional appearance, the vehicle wrap should reflect that. If your goal is to build broad customer awareness, your final design needs to be bold and attention getting.