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It Takes a Lot to Be a Winner

Originally published: 06.01.20 by Pete Grasso

As someone who used to work in advertising/marketing/public relations, I understand the importance of having a solid brand.

From your own personal brand to your company’s brand, what you stand for and what your customers know about you is critical.

I stumbled upon an interesting article the other day that takes an atypical stance on branding. Too often, when you read or hear about branding, it’s all about your branding campaign. This article, however, focuses on aligning consumers with your brand.

Companies often believe that they can change consumers’ perceptions of their brand by embarking on big advertising and marketing campaigns. They use updated logos and celebrity spokespeople to signify changes in their attitudes and behaviors.

In essence — and I hope you know this already — your brand is more than simply your logo and your company slogan. Your brand is how consumers view you and what you stand for — ideally, you want your target customers to align themselves with that brand and strengthen your position by appealing to them.

Make your brand something your customers — and employees — are proud to be a part of and it will be the most powerful tool you have.

That brings us to our

Tops in Trucks Fleet Design Contest — our annual tribute to the very best in fleet vehicle graphics and cutting edge branding and advertising.

With all that is going on in the world, we worried that this year’s content might not be as strong as year’s past. It’s certainly understandable for you to have more pressing issues on your mind.

Of course, we were absolutley wrong. We recieved more entries this year than last — many of which came in within the last month — during the height of the pandemic.

In fact, a few of our finalists actually implemented their designs shortly before or during this global crisis!

“When it comes to fleet design, remember that a majority of the time your fleet vehicle is being recognized by a potential customer that is driving or a passenger in their own vehicle, so your brand has to be quickly identifiable in addition to your contact information,” says Joseph Kalinowski, creative director for the Content Marketing Institute. “Avoid ‘the kitchen sink rule,’ where you feel the need to list every service you offer on your vehicle.

“No one is able to read that while driving past your vehicle,” he continues. “Leave that information to your website and other media.”

Our judges certainly had their work cut out for them. Every year, we recieve many questions regarding the contest and how the winners are chosen. So, to give you a better understanding of our judging process — as well as tips as you create your next fleet design — I thought I’d share some transparency here.

Each entry is judged on eight different criteria — yes, that’s right, eight! Sure, it would be easy to simply go through the submissions and say, “I like this one; I don’t like this one ... and so on.” But that’s just not how it’s done.

Using a five point scale (1 being “poor” and 5 being “superior”), the judges score the following categories.

Graphic Appeal: Is it attention-grabbing and eye-catching? Does it stand out? Is it industry-specific and unique?

Quality Logo: Is the logo interesting and appropriate? Does it pop?

Information: Is there enough information, but not too much? Information should not be overwhelming. Does it include company name, phone, website, services?

Lettering: Is the lettering legible, clean, readable?

Color: Are the colors bright, vibrant and bold? Are they complimentary, or do they clash?

Legibility: Is the design crisp and readable from a distance?

Creativity: Does the design create interest? Does it appeal emotionally? Does it stand out as unique?

Consistency: Is the theme used on all four sides of vehicle and for all vehicle body types?

If you’re thinking about wrapping your trucks for the first time, or perhaps you’re ready for a refresh — or even a complete rebranding, keep this criteria in mind. It will help you not only come up with a great design for your fleet, but also a brand that will stand out.

And, of course, don’t forget to send us your photos and entry form for the 2021 Tops in Trucks Fleet Design Contest.


About Pete Grasso

Pete is the editor of HVACR Business magazine. He has spent his career working in and with trade media, both as a public relations practitioner and as an editor. He gained a great deal of expertise in the B2B arena, within large and medium sized advertising agencies. Be sure to follow Pete on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn!


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