10 Rules for Wraps

– by Matt Michel

CEO of Service Roundtable, Matt Michel, weighed in on the value of wraps for businesses in the plumbing, heating, and cooling industry. Following is his perspective.

A contractors greatest advertising vehicle is a solid truck wrap (pun intended). It is the best and lowest cost way to build your brand awareness in your market.


White Van Fragility

There are two problems with white service trucks. The first is they all look alike. They blend together. There are a lot of them and your brand disappears in a sea of sameness on a white truck.

The second problem is the association your customers have with white vans. Women often refer to white vans as “abduction vans.” In fact, some women will not park next to one in a parking lot.

“We’re getting reports of somebody in a white van trying to snatch up young girls for human trafficking and for selling body parts, I’m told, so we have to really be careful, because there’s so much evil going on, not just in the city of Baltimore, but around the country,” said the mayor of Baltimore in 2019.

Supposedly, this was all based on an Internet hoax. Fact or rumor, it went viral on social media. People believe it. The net is a white truck will make many of your customers and prospects uncomfortable, if not fearful.


Build Your Brand Awareness

When people think of DHL, the logistics company, they usually think of big yellow trucks. DHL has tremendous brand awareness almost exclusively because of their trucks. In fact, it is hard for most people to remember seeing a DHL ad on broadcast media.

What works for DHL, works for you. If you have a fleet of well-wrapped vehicles, it is likely that the consumer brand awareness of your company will exceed the consumer brand awareness of any of the products you sell.

Research from GeoPath, the trade association for out-of-home advertising estimates that a single vehicle wrap generates 30,000 to 70,000 impressions per day. The American Trucking Association found that over 90% of the public notices vehicle wraps and 95% remember what they saw. Even if these are wildly overstated, the net remains that a vehicle wrap is a great way to build your brand.


Ten Rules For Wraps

1. Use an unclaimed color. The folly of using white has already been discussed. Another mistake is to use a color or colors strongly associated with another brand. For example, UPS owns big brown trucks in every market in the country. Do not use brown. If a company in your market has long had a substantial and noticeable fleet of cherry red service vans, do not use cherry red. Find a unique tint or color combination.

2. Emphasize the logo. The logo should be huge. Stretch it across the vehicle. The logo should be the
focal point of the graphic design. This is what you want people to remember.

3. Cantilever the logo or graphic elements. We live in a world where most graphic are horizontal. That’s what we expect. When the logo is tilted, we are more likely to notice it. This is primitive and instinctive. We notice the unusual and unexpected to assess whether it is a threat. If you do not want to tilt the logo, use angled graphic elements that draw the eye to the logo.

4. Tell people what you do. If your business name does not inherently communicate what you do, tell people. Beneath the logo state, “residential plumbing service” or “heating and air conditioning.”

5. Place the logo high on a high cube. High cubes have significant vehicle real estate that is visible above passenger cars and SUVs. Push the logo high on the truck where it can be seen by more people.

6. Include your USP. If you have a strong unique selling proposition that helps differentiate your company, include it in your wraps.

7. Stress the website over the phone number. People seldom call phone number from trucks in motion. If the truck is not in motion, the phone number does not need to be huge. Shrink it and move it to the door or front fender. Instead of emphasizing the phone number, stress the website URL. People are more likely to recall a website from a moving vehicle than a phone number.

8. Market on the back. The back of the truck is the one place where you can market more heavily. Give people stuck behind your trucks at a traffic light something to read. Make it interesting and unique.

9.Remember the fifth side. Anyone looking down a small rise or out of a second story window can see the top of your vehicles. Even if you have ladder racks and ladders, they can see the top. Wrap it and put your logo on it. People will notice it.

10. Use a professional. When a graphic designer needs HVAC work, they call a professional. When you need graphic design work, you should turn to pros as well. Listen to their advice. It’s your trucks and a good
designer will do what you ask, but remember, they have the training and creative skills to create a design that will build
your brand.

Southern PHC also spoke with Johns Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning as well as vehicle wrap specialty company Matthews Mobile Media to learn more about how vehicle wraps are an effective way of taking your branding on the road. Read about that conversation in  the article Your Rolling Billboard.

For more information on branding for the plumbing, heating and cooling industry, check out the vast resources available at the Service Roundtable at ServiceRoundtable.com or call 877-262-3341.

Saffer wrap

Saffer wraps boast a memorable color scheme as well as a catchy USP, “You’re Safer with Saffer.” What the company does, “electric, plumbing, heating,” is also clearly stated.

Plumbing Solutions of Idaho
J. Blanton Plumbing

The best wraps use attention-getting graphics. The Plumbing Solutions of Idaho logo is huge and in eye-popping red. The Illiana logo has been tilted and displays across the width of the wrap. J. Blanton Plumbing vans feature distinctive drop-like graphics.

Conway Comfort

The Conway Comfort fleet (shown below)  stands out from the crowd thanks to their distinctive vehicle wraps that emphasize the company logo and web address.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable, the largest business alliance in the plumbing, heating, and cooling industry. You can reach Matt by email at matt.michel@serviceroundtable.com, toll-free at 877-262-3341, or follow him on Twitter as ComancheMktg.