In the United States, about 6 million households use heating oil as their main space heating fuel1 and propane gas is an $8 billion industry that is continuing to grow2. With these outstanding numbers, propane and fuel oil marketers often ask how they can increase their market share. There are many ways to win over customers, including digital marketing, print advertising in local publications, and direct mailers. But what about a brand’s image? Although a company’s website may be beautiful, its online marketing may be up-to-date, and it is sending out direct mailers, the brand image equation often fails to include the delivery and service trucks and vans (your on road fleet).

Delivery and service vehicles can significantly increase brand image. A study by the American Trucking Association and Robinson, Yesawich & Pepperdine recently showed that 75% of people developed a first impression about a company and its products from its truck advertising. Additionally, about a third of people would base a buying decision on the impression they got from a vehicle. This means that a dirty or rusted vehicle, a vehicle with a damaged logo, or even a vehicle that looks disheveled inside (broken tablets, etc.)  will impact a customer’s opinion of your brand and the likelihood that they will choose you.

Are people really seeing my company’s vehicles on the road though? Yes! And more than you might think. The American Trucking Association reported that a vehicle that travelled in or around major cities generated more than 65,000 visual impressions per day. In suburban areas, the visual impressions exceeded 30,000 per day. Whether your business is in a metropolitan or suburban area, the graphics on the fleet count, especially with thousands of people are seeing them. In the same report by the American Trucking Association, 96% of respondents said fleet graphics have more of an impact than other forms of outdoor media, such as billboard and road signs. This fact alone shows that your business should be, if it’s not already, spending marketing and advertising dollars on truck and vehicle maintenance.

The effort put in to maintain the appearance of your trucks and vans, whether that means a simple wash, polish, or reprint of your logo, can make or break a prospect’s decision from signing up for your service. Once you have your brand image balanced, your fuel oil and propane management software operating, and your team excited to help your market, you’ll begin to see that market share increase.

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*If you don’t have your fuel oil and propane management software set up, contact Blue Cow Software today to learn more. With the Ignite Software Suite, your back-office, delivery, and service management will fall right into place with your marketing. [email protected] – 888-499-2583