October 26, 2015

Keeping the budget for a fleet rebranding project on target

Fleet Rebrand Projec

When planning a fleet rebranding project, companies often use the RFP process to select vendors and contain costs. This process can save time and money if the company is buying products, like hundreds of employee uniforms in a limited number of sizes. But for a fleet rebranding project, which combines products and services, the same process can do the exact opposite. Unlike uniforms, where the variables are limited to gender (male or female) and size (small, medium, large, XL, XXL or XXXL), corporate fleets aren’t homogenous and the product-only approach doesn’t work.

During every fleet rebranding project we’ve worked on, and the number is in the hundreds, I’ve yet to see a company that has a grasp on the variations in makes, model years, and body styles in its commercial fleet. For example, during the assessment phase of one recent fleet rebranding project, we found 37 different combinations of makes and models. Add to that a variety of model years with slightly different body styles (e.g., window or door shape or size), and we’re talking hundreds of unique vehicle types in the fleet. Our client was shocked.

No, we didn’t create a separate vehicle graphic for each of the unique vehicle types. We use graphic engineering to standardize and streamline the graphic design and production process during a fleet rebranding project. Not sure what graphic engineering is? You aren’t alone. Graphic engineering applies value engineering principles to brand graphic design and production. For a fleet rebranding project, that means we look for commonalities across makes, models and model years to create standardized brand graphics that work on multiple vehicle types.

Unfortunately, some companies rely on drawings provided by branding agencies of how brand graphics would appear on simulated fleet vehicles without consulting fleet rebranding project experts. I recently saw a drawing for a van that misjudged both sizing and body design, which would have led to a vehicle graphic 350% larger than needed, where the key tagline was cut off by a wheel well missing from the drawing.

This goes back to the RFP process and selecting vendors that can provide the best services and products for a fleet rebranding project. A qualified partner with fleet rebranding project experience knows the right questions to ask about the fleet and any drawings or brand standards guidelines provided by branding agencies. Be sure to ask the right questions of potential vendors, or you could end up paying for gigantic vehicle graphics you can’t use. Then again, they could be perfect for a float in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.