This is just one example of consistent vehicle branding by real estate company CBRE. - Photo by Natalie Vidal

This is just one example of consistent vehicle branding by real estate company CBRE.

Photo by Natalie Vidal

Just as clothes express personality, corporate fleets can communicate a lot about a company’s brand. A study by 3M and the American Trucking Association revealed that 91% of people notice words and graphics on trucks, and 75% of those people form impressions of the product or company advertised. That’s a lot of impressions – between 1 and 4 million per month on local routes, according to a study by the Traffic Audit Bureau. But the question is, what kind of impressions are you making? 

The obvious part of the answer has to do with how vehicles reflect a recognizable visual identity. Think of the blue vans with Amazon’s distinctive smile logo, Home Depot’s orange delivery trucks, and Napa Auto Parts’ blue cars with yellow hats. Beyond visual imagery, the vehicles themselves also tell a story. For instance, Best Buy’s Geek Squad drives Volkswagen Beetles.

They’re cheerful, friendly, and small-yet-mighty – precisely the image you want to give consumers who need help with their technology.

Does your fleet convey these essential brand identity components?

Put it all together, and it’s easy to see how your fleet can reinforce important qualities that comprise your company’s consumer and employer brands, including:

  • Stability and availability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon grew its brand presence with delivery vans on virtually every street corner, consistently portraying its brand colors and logo. Get on the highway, and that same image is reinforced by Prime delivery trucks. When a company seems to be everywhere, it also communicates a sense of solid reliability.
  • Sustainability. After manufacturing and commercial facilities, fossil fuel-powered corporate fleets are responsible for a significant part of the United States’ carbon footprint. It’s no surprise that companies are turning to electric vehicles (EVs) to help them achieve carbon emission reduction goals. Equally important, EVs can also provide a visible demonstration of environmental responsibility – a key lever for attracting, recruiting, and retaining people who want to work for and do business with companies who care about the planet.
  • Innovation. Electric vehicles have led the way with innovative automotive technologies that go beyond sustainability. Sophisticated, interactive displays, lower maintenance requirements, software-distributed updates, and other innovations either originated or advanced with the expanded development of EVs. So, it's no wonder that Tesla, Ford Mach, Chevy Bolt, Volvo Recharge, and other electric vehicles project the image of a forward-looking, innovative organization – the kind with which lots of people want to do business.
  • Style. Looks may not be everything – but a vehicle that attracts attention might also help you attract talent and customers. Just as a clean, modern lobby with bold artwork creates an environment that’s exciting and progressive, so can new (and new looking) vehicles with eye-catching design touches. Your sales representatives’ cars can set experiential expectations for clients before they even walk in the door. Likewise, when sales representatives choose jobs, the company car they drive will contribute to their decision. Your ability to offer vehicles that fit the needs, image, and style of employees who may be trendy Gen Zers, practical Millennial parents, or GenX executives.
  • Care. People want to work for companies that genuinely care for their people and buy from organizations that can be trusted to look after their products and customers. A clean, well-maintained fleet underscores a sense of thoughtfulness and attention that many people crave, especially in today’s times.

About the Author: Frans Mahieu is the director of marketing at LeasePlan USA, a leading provider of innovative, sustainable vehicle leasing solutions. This article was authored and edited according to AF editorial standards and style. Opinions expressed may not necessarily reflect that of AF.