As a trucking company, are you just part of the herd? Just another in a line of trucks? What sets you apart from other carriers with which you compete for freight?

Western ranches were once defined by their brands. But why would a trucking company need branding? Not the hot iron on the right flank of your tractors and trailers kind, but a means by which your customers and the general public can immediately identify which trucks belong to you. It says in a glance who you are and what you do. Both your carrier's name and logo must achieve that goal. Branding is the point at which selling your services begins.

THE BRAND PROMISE

This is the emotional link between you and your shippers. To determine this promise, finish this sentence: Each time a shipper or receiver encounters your carrier, he will…

To find the answer, consider these points:

  • Value

    List five core values of your company.

  • Mission

    Define the reason you're in business (not just for profit) and include what unfulfilled shipper needs you will meet.

  • What do you do?

    Describe what your carrier does in no more than 50 words.

  • Define

    Describe your company in three to five words.

  • Target market

    Who are your customers? Where are they located? Where do their loads go? What do you haul for them?

  • Unique selling position

    What is the key selling point of your hauling services? Can other carriers make the same claim? If so, your services aren't unique. Try again.

  • Hauling niche

    What's your specialty? Are you the first to develop this niche? If not, how are you going to do it differently?

  • Key message points

    What are five key message points you want potential customers to know?

  • Building your brand

    What symbol or image represents all you've just written? Give the image a story. Describe the personality and character of your brand image as if you're writing a biography.

  • Tagline

    Come up with a short memorable phrase that supports your brand. Anyone who sees or hears the tagline should know immediately what you do.

From this picture, story and tagline, you establish a company personality and voice. These are further distilled into the brand, the image that represents your carrier. It becomes your company's first impression and your logo.

Your logo identifies your company. It's on your trucks and trailers, employees' and drivers' shirts and caps. It's on the company letterhead, business cards, website and office door. It becomes your social media calling card, since it's your profile image on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google.

Shippers, brokers, receivers and the public will all know who you are and what you do from your brand and logo.

Heat up those branding irons, partner.


Contact Tim Brady at 731-749-8567 or at www.timothybrady.com