Too Much Information

Think of all the billboards you see as you’re driving around town.  What are the images?  What are the graphics and words? Do you see companies listing all of the services that they perform? Do you see more than one tagline? Not often, and if you do it’s not nearly as effective and memorable as when the information is kept to a bare minimum.

Service based businesses often run into the “Too Much Information” problem when it comes to vehicle wraps.  We see it every day, a home services or home repair company will want to list all of the different kinds of home repairs they do from bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, plumbing, windows, electrical, tile, cabinets, windows, pool repair.  And maintenance.  Another common mistake is made by contractors who list  “commercial” and “residential” on their vehicles.  So that means you work for everyone right?  It’s unnecessary.  It similar to Christmas lights made in China that have a little warning attached “For indoor or outdoor use only”.  If you only do one or the other it will be important to let potential clients know, but if you do both, it’s just one more thing for people to have to read.

With all this information the “vehicle wrap” ends up looking like a cluttered mess of random information that no one will ever read.  In fact all that jumble will succeed in doing is making potential clients look somewhere else at something they can understand.   To be brutally honest:  There is no way anyone is going to digest all that information.

It will go a long way to focus in on what the core of your business is.

The true cost of all this information is far more than just the money spent on the vehicle wrap design and installation.  Losing the opportunity to earn a customer and the potential revenue generated by that customer is huge!  Especially if you’re in the kind of business where you form long term relationships with your clients.   Think about how much money a home-owner will spend on maintaining their air conditioning system over the next 10-20 years.  Or how much will be spent on plumbing, renovating, or pool service or landscaping.  We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars if not more.  Think about this, really let that sink in.  You could be losing dozens of potential clients a month who could be spending tens of thousands of dollars if you go with the wrong vehicle wrap design.

So what can be done to eliminate all this information but still be able to let people know who you are and what you do?

Choose what information is critical and what information is nice to have.  Eliminate all information which is not critical.  When you’re thinking of what you do think of one or two word answers.  Plumbing.  Air Conditioning and Heating.  Landscape Maintenance.  Pool service.   Think about McDonald’s   For the first several decades of their existence every one of the golden arches had the word “Hamburgers” on it.  They did not have fries, soft drinks, ice cream, chicken sandwiches, fish, nuggets and bagels…

Think about Starbucks.   The sign says “Starbucks Coffee”  that’s it.  Burger King – Home of the Whopper.    Wendy’s – Hamburgers.   If you think about your vehicle wrap design from a general branding perspective it will go a long way to focus in on what the core of your business is.

So where should you start? Start with your logo.  Every highly effective vehicle wrap is centered around a great logo.  You may think your logo is great but are you certain that it is?  Is it completely obvious from your logo what kind of business you are?  Is the text in your logo readable or is it fancy and hard to read in 3 seconds.  What about the colors?  Watch this video on world renown branding expert Al Ries to find out more about logo design. *Note*  Although his visual presentation could use a little updating the main points he makes are time tested and true. [ youtube ]

Next, choose the one service that you provide that you would absolutely love to have more customers calling about.  If you have several services, think of a word that sums all of them up.  Next, your tagline.   If you don’t have a GREAT tagline then don’t us one on your wrap.  Tag lines like “one call does it all” and “for all your plumbing needs”  are not original and are a distraction.

Lastly you need one way for potential clients to get in contact with you.  This should be your phone number or website.  You should not have multiple phone numbers on your vehicle wrap.  If you have more than one phone number and location then you should promote your website where potential clients can find the location they need.   If you want people to contact you through your website the web address needs to be the same as your business name.  You will lose potential clients if your business name is ABC Air Conditioning and your website is coldasiceair. com.  Imagine a wrap with a company name, a different name for the website, 2 taglines, 2 phone numbers and lots of different services.  Plus a bunch of logos

A lot of air conditioning contractors will receive some advertising dollars from major manufacturers in return for plastering their vehicle with their logo.  This is a terrible idea.  You are diluting your brand and drastically reducing the effectiveness of your wrap by doing this.  Leave all of your suppliers logos off your wrap.  The little bit of money they may throw your way is hardly worth the loss of even one potential client, given the amount of money they might spend as a lifetime customer

If you want a really great example of the kind of restraint and discipline I’m talking about take a look at Google’s homepage.  Take a look at the login pages of Facebook or any other social media site.  There’s an image, and you can login or create an account.  That’s it.  Transfer that to a vehicle wrap and you have:  A logo and a graphic image which lets potential clients know you’re a real and reputable company, what you do and what your company is about.  And you have an option or two to connect, a phone number or a website.  That’s it.  If you want your vehicle wrap to be effective at creating brand awareness and cause people to contact you as a business owner you need to resist the overwhelming urge to put bullet points or a list of your services and multiple tag lines on your wrap.

Remember, your vehicle is a moving billboard.  Not a moving brochure and not a moving website.


Tim Hilcove


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