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Consumer Delivery - Part 6 - Delivering Your Image

Furniture World Magazine

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Your delivery people are delivering you image too.

A retailer who operates his own delivery trucks told me he puts the same ads on them that he uses on local buses. He wondered why so few stores take this kind of free ad ride.

Merchants I queried agreed that the cost factor is appealing. But they see their trucks as a way to literally drive their images home and feel truck ads would adversely affect their efforts.

Like everything else that identifies their stores, their trucks reflect a carefully considered-and, often, a carefully researched graphic concept. They employ the same logo design, the same color scheme, the same thematic line across the board -on their signs, in their ads, on order forms, on uniforms, for instance.

Coordinating a store's look makes good marketing sense, because of the positive image echo factor. There's a decided benefit when people see your store the same positive way in many different contexts.

Most stores consider truck care and operation integral parts of their image effort too. That's wise because, while you may never hear praise for your spotless trucks, you're apt to hear about a dirty one-and even more apt to hear about one that leaves an acrid smoke screen in its wake.

And while everyone appreciates courteous drivers, you're apt to hear quicker from customers and potential customers about the careless or arrogant ones. A good thing too- because, short of an accident, there's little way you'll know about drivers who roll through full stops or inch into light changes or take undue risks on the road in trucks carrying your image.

To steer clear of these kind of image injuries, many stores have strict maintenance programs that include regular truck cleanings. Their trucks never leave the garage without basic checks-gas, oil, tire pressure and the like.

Some companies-including my own-have called in industrial psychologists to assist in developing ongoing driver improvement and safe driver incentive programs.

I can tell you from firsthand experience these low-key efforts work well once crews come to understand they're not just delivering the goods -they're delivering your image too. And the better. the job they do. the more jobs they'll have to do.