Five ways to boost your fleet’s brand and value

Feb. 16, 2015

Can you quickly name three corporate brands? Perhaps mainstay’s like Sony, McDonalds, Apple, Nike, Verizon or some other major brand came to mind first. 

These brands are easy to recall because they use targeted strategies to dominate the market with their message while they constantly build maintain and protect their brand.

A strong brand identity positions your fleet as the provider of choice, and it can also increase your fleet’s market value.  If you are considering a liquidity event or related M&A transaction, a smaller, well-branded fleet may have more market value than a larger competitor that has is not well branded.

Here are five ways to boost your brand and company value at the same time:

  • Consistent Visual Branding – Consistency and repetition are the keys to successful branding.  Ensure that your fleet has a professional logo and image that is clearly and consistently communicated across the company and all media. This should include: signage used on all vehicles and buildings, as well as on printed materials such as company brochures, forms and throughout your website.  Keep logos simple and clean and ensure they carry a strong, clear message about your fleet.
  • Exceptional Service – Customers remember great service. Customer testimonials are critical to building a strong brand and company value. Your reputation as a customer–friendly service provider is central to your brand’s health. It takes years to build a good reputation with your customers. Guard it, protect it and monitor it every day.  Buyers will pay more for fleets with exceptional customer service records.
  • Hire the right people – Great fleets have great employees. They understand and personify your brand’s principles, values and direction.  Most importantly, your employees should be trained on how to care for your customers.  Owners should recruit develop and reward employees that have a clear “line-of-sight” to the mission and values of the organization. Your people, when carefully selected and trained, will help you build a strong brand that adds value.
  • Spread the word – Well-known brands are not bashful.  They constantly tell their story in the media, online, through news releases, presentations, community service – whatever it takes to build positive visibility.  If your fleet sets a new safety record, get it published. If you have a banner sales year, let the world know.  If one of your employees is a superstar in customer service, celebrate and tell your customers. Everyone loves to read about success and it builds your brand while boosting value.
  • Continuously re-evaluate your brand – If you launched your fleet 20 years ago and have not re-evaluated your brand, it is most likely dated.  Has your image evolved over the years? What services have you added? Are they reflected in your branding?  Branding is a vital part of your fleet. It is your image and you want that image to broadcast a positive, progressive, modern view to the world.

Your brand is your billboard to the world, and potential buyers will take note if you have a strong, well-respected brand.If your fleet is highly recognized, provides exceptional service, has great employees and everyone knows about it, its value goes up.

Great branding opens the door to new customers, solid growth and potentially a more lucrative exit. What does your brand say about your fleet?

Have any fleet branding experiences – good or bad -- you’d like to share?

About the Author

John Sloan | Vice Chairman

John Sloan is the Vice Chairman of Allegiance Capital, a middle-market investment bank that works with business owners to help them sell or raise capital. 

John has more than three decades of C-level experience in investment banking and private equity.  He has personally executed transactions with fleet owners and understands the unique needs of the trucking industry. 

During his career, John has raised more than $1 billion in debt and equity.  He is an expert in all aspects of investment banking and has evaluated and negotiated the acquisition of more than 30 companies in: energy, construction, retail, telecom, environmental, logistics and manufacturing, with an aggregate value in excess of $7 billion.

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