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Driving Your Brand

Your delivery vehicle is a representation of your company, so make sure to take advantage of this mobile form of marketing.

Hit the Road
Looking for ways to get your party store noticed? It's as easy as getting behind the wheel! If you don't already have a vehicle wrap, it might be a worthwhile investment for your business. These "billboards on wheels" are created by printing graphic images onto an adhesive vinyl film that's adhered directly to a vehicle. There are full wraps that cover the entire vehicle, partial wraps or a wrap for a specific portion of the vehicle. These can also be removed without damaging the paint.

Vehicle wraps are fully customizable, allowing businesses to create their own design and message that reinforces their brand. They also provide the opportunity to target specific audiences by driving particular routes, or even by parking the vehicle in a specific location (like a crowded mall). Think about prime locations and high-traffic areas where your vehicle will be seen by the most people.

Drive Traffic to Your Business
Use your business vehicle as an expression of what your store is all about: parties, balloons, smiles and fun! Big, colorful graphics will grab everyone's attention. But keep in mind that when choosing a design for a vehicle wrap, you don't want it to get too busy.

Make sure three main elements are prominent:
1. Business name and services
2. Contact information (phone number, website, etc.)
3. Pictures and/or graphics that represent your work

Lisa Swiger, CBA, of Blooming Balloons in Raleigh, N.C., has her business vehicle covered in a bright pink wrap with pictures of twisted balloon figures (pictured). She's received numerous calls from people saying they've seen her little pink car, or they ask, "Is this the pink car company?"

"We've also gotten calls saying, ‘I'm sitting behind your car in traffic and wondered if you had time to talk about my upcoming event,'" Swiger said.

Wrap It Up
If you think a vehicle wrap might be a good idea for your party store, first do your research. This is a financial investment that you'll want to get a return on. One question you might want to ask yourself is, "How many balloon deliveries will I need to sell in order to pay for the wrap?" A vehicle wrap is also a representation of your company. Think about the future of your business and any goals you have to grow or expand; this may change the message you want to convey.

Get estimates from local sign companies or businesses that specialize in vehicle wraps. Make sure the person you're working with is familiar with applying a wrap to your particular type of vehicle, and ask if they offer a guarantee on their work.

"Because photos can hide patchwork and other flaws, see their work in person," Swiger recommends. "And if you see other vehicles in your area with great wraps, don't be afraid to ask the owners where they got it done."

Think about it - how much time during the week does someone on your staff spend driving around the community to deliver balloons and other gifts? If you're not using your delivery vehicle as a way to advertise your business, then you're missing out on potential customers and profits.

Make Your Message Stick
Don't have the budget for a full vehicle wrap? Vinyl vehicle stickers or decals are a less expensive - yet still effective - alternative. They can be customized just like wraps, and won't cause any damage to the vehicle's paint. Because they're cheaper, you could even change out your decals throughout the year to remind people about your party services for specific occasions (like Valentine's Day or graduations).

Amanda Dolechek, Certified Balloon Artist (CBA), works for Pioneer Balloon Company and writes for a variety of balloon industry websites and Qualatex publications, including Balloon Images and Balloon Magic-The Magazine.

 

Originally posted Monday, Nov. 21, 2011