Imagine it’s the first day of school. You’re in your car in line waiting to pick up your child. You’re being a patient rule follower, wanting to set a good example and all, then out of the blue, some parent who believes they’re in a bigger hurry than you, and are thus entitled, for some reason, to YOUR the place in front of you in line, noses their vehicle right in front of yours. Cuts in line, in other words. Not waits patiently with a gracious expression, imploring you to let them in, but cuts in line. Yes, cuts right in front of you. Aggravating. Disappointing. Downright moronic. This very thing really, truly, did happen to a friend of mine and I understand it’s rather common these days, so it may have even happened to you. Sad, sad, sad.
But this incident gets even worse, if you can believe it. This rude moron is driving a car that is wrapped with the name and contact information of a company. How dumb is that?
As I’ve written before, vehicle wrap is ordinarily a very good branding tool. But as I’ve also written before, whoever is driving that car with the brand messages plastered all over it needs to remember their actions behind the wheel ARE the brand in the minds of the customers. So if somebody else is driving a car, truck, van, scooter or skateboard representing YOUR brand, they may be taking your brand image places you don’t want it to go.
My friend is very forgiving, but she’s also not the least bit forgetful. She remembers the name of that company to this day, and she has vowed to exercise her right as a consumer in a free market to NEVER do business with that firm, nor will she ever REFER this firm if the opportunity should arise. Maybe that’ll cost the company who committed the dastardly deed, or maybe it won’t, but any way you look at it, that company’s brand dodged a major bullet.
A less-forgiving victim of that kind of rude behavior could have whipped out her cell phone and snapped a picture of the vehicle with the brand wrap on it. She could have then Tweeted, Facebooked, and blogged about the dastardly deed to all those in her sphere of influence, who could then have reached out to their spheres of influence. And so on, and so on. All in a matter of minutes. She could have launched her own social-media mini-attack on the brand. And she’d have been justified in doing so.
That is the kind of POWER your customer has these days. So if you’ve got employees who are driving around in a vehicle with your brand showcased on it, anything and everything they do while behind the wheel is potentially something the market could use to build their impressions of your brand. And anything your employees do that offends a customer could be digitally shared with the world long before you even know about it. So remind anyone driving a vehicle that identifies your brand that everyone, including YOU, is watching, and that they need to play nice!
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, founder, Amazon.com