I know this is my first blog post for ages – I’ll come back to why and a pile of other stuff in another blog in the next few days, but this particular marketing bugbear of mine just won’t keep any longer.
Now, I don’t claim to be a perfect driver, I make my fair share of mistakes, but last week on my drive to Cardiff one morning, something happened which set me thinking… It must have been about 7.30, just around the time the motorway traffic starts to build. I was just moving to the inside lane as I needed to exit the motorway at the next junction, when another car overtook me on the inside, cutting me up as they pulled out in front of me into the middle lane, and then proceeded to cut other cars up as they pushed their way in to the outside lane. No, this isn’t that unusual or even that noteworthy – except that this car clearly belonged to a small business, as it was covered in advertising and branding.
So, I got cut up by an impatient driver – not the end of the world, surely? Let’s have a think about that… I’m not going to name the company here – although I will mail them a link to this blog 🙂 – but the point is, what impression do I now have of their business and the way they conduct themselves? The company concerned advertises themselves as a reliable, premier event management and hospitality business… One which prides itself on customer service and care. This is not the impression I now have of this company and I’m very unlikely to want to use their services or work with them – all thanks to the impatience and poor driving of one individual, who may or may not be the owner of the business.
Branding company vehicles is a common and useful marketing tool – after all, why not use the blank space that a car or van presents to advertise your business? But, if you’re going to do this you need to be very aware of the messages you send out to those you, or your staff, interact with wherever they go. Remember anything bearing your branding is sending out a message to those who interact with it and creating an impression of your business, which can just as easily be negative as positive!
For some more thoughts on what your marketing message may be saying behind your back, take a look at my good friend Mike Morrison’s blog on the subject.