When it comes to promoting your brand, the main challenge is often-time be deciding how to have the most impact and widest reach. Especially with so many brands trying to stand out, entrepreneurs and small business owners are always looking for the next big idea in brand promotion that makes them unique. As far as originality in brand promotion, hardly anything beats branded food trucks.
However, just because an idea is unique, doesn’t guarantee that it will be successful. Thankfully, food trucks are both. In this article, we will be your comprehensive branded food truck guide.
The Food Truck Evolution And Revolution
About fifteen years ago, the food truck took on new life as a trendy spot for gourmet food. Food trucks used to be just a cheap and quick place to eat, but then they took on a new meaning. People began booking them for special events like weddings, birthday parties, graduations.
In 2022, we’ve reached a new stage of evolution. Food trucks now exceed strictly dining purposes and are being viewed as a vehicle for brands to build consumer awareness and loyalty through immersive branded experiences.
More On The Food Truck Trend For Brand Promotion
You may be wondering, what do ‘immersive branded experiences’ mean, exactly? Well, unlike other forms of advertisement like stand-alone digital ads, commercials, or billboards, immersive branded experiences leave lasting impressions by creating in-person, memorable experiences for customers.
Food trucks are the kings of immersive consumer experiences, helping businesses across the board increase customer knowledge about new products and services through real life experiences like mobile pop up shops, showrooms, tours, and more.
Branded Food Trucks: A Great Use Of Experiential Marketing
Branded food trucks are a great example of experiential marketing, also known as “XM.” Exactly what is experiential marketing? The key is that it is immersive and engaging. If you just hand someone a product sample, they may take it and use it, but this is hardly immersive.
Immersive experiential marketing engages all their senses in your brand. They’ll see your attractive eye-catching graphics and fonts; hear positive messaging through brand ambassadors who staff your food trucks; and finally, taste and smell familiar or new food treats.
Secondly, emotion is a crucial part of creating a desirability for your brand, and being immersed in the experience of a food truck can create a strong positive emotion that will last.’
Lastly, human connection is a key to experiential marketing. Since your food truck will be staffed by brand ambassadors, you have the chance to directly engage new customers in a fun way that will brighten their day.
Take People By Surprise With Guerilla Marketing
Another technique that’s shown a lot of success is so-called guerilla marketing. This takes advantage of the element of surprise. Imagine a group of bored office workers, quietly gathered in a park eating their lunches, when your branded food truck arrives, shaking them out of their mundane day.
Or, think of people enjoying a park with their family. Your branded truck arrives, not to push them to buy, but to simply add to the experience of the day, being immersed in the best of what you have to offer.
Go Viral: Let Your Customers Take Your Social Media Engagement To The Next Level
It’s hardly a secret, people love sharing their lives on social media. It’s all about signaling to others that they lead interesting lives full of fun experiences. Experiential marketing from branded food trucks goes hand and hand with social media sharing.
Customers who feel that positive connection with your brand want to turn that around and share it with the world. Whatever you are doing, make it highly visual and those posts will go flying!
Your social media engagement team should be on top of those posts, with funny and engaging responses.
The In's And Out's Of Getting The Most Out Of Your Branded Food Truck
While the decision to utilize a branded food truck in your marketing campaign is a wise one, and likely to produce a great return on your investment, it’s important that you plan and prepare carefully. Here’s some tips to make sure you get the best return on your investment!
Have A Clear Goal
Branded food trucks are a great way to reach customers, and educate them on the products you provide. However, you need to nail down a fairly specific goal for your campaign. Are you trying to reinvigorate an existing brand? Do you have a new product launch you are trying to promote? Are you a new business trying to build a customer base?
Ask yourself these questions, and many more to decide the goal of your campaign. If it’s too broad, it will lose much of the excitement. If it’s too “niche” you might find many customers that aren’t interested.
Hire Friendly Brand Ambassadors
It’s key that you find friendly and personable people to staff your food truck. Remember that the human connection is key to making the customers experience a positive and memorable one. Make sure they look and act the part of true brand ambassadors, not just “employees” or temporary workers.
Remember their clothing, hairstyles, accessories are all part of the look and feel you are trying to achieve, so making this an integral part of your plan is very important.
Brand Ambassador Training
Building a system for customer interaction is also incredibly important in a successful campaign. What is it that you are trying to achieve? If you have a new product, make sure your ambassadors are trained to answer questions and provide specific highlights. What value does your product or service add to your customers’ lives? Make sure your brand ambassadors are including that in their messaging.
Friendly but not fake is the best demeanor. Today’s customers are more sophisticated than ever, and they always appreciate authenticity over slick and produced. All sorts of people make great candidates for brand ambassadors. The main qualifications are that they are fun, friendly and genuine!
Your ambassadors should have a clear understanding of making some observations of foot traffic, demographic and feedback for your debriefing session, which we’ll talk about below.
You’re making a significant investment of time and cost in your branded food truck so you want to make sure it’s highly visible! You want a popular, highly trafficked location, ideally with a wide cross section of customers that you want to serve.
Preparation and research are keys to success in location selection. Spend some time observing several locations to see exactly where you’d like to position yourself, when and for how long.
Food trucks can be positioned at so many different spots, and you aren’t restricted to just one! That’s the benefit of a branding vehicle on wheels! You can set up on a street in a financial district to attract workers on their lunch break. Farmers markets and community festivals are another great place to find a crowd of eager customers.
You’ll want to reach out to festival organizers to see what options you’d have in terms of location, cost and hours. When it comes to city streets, be sure to check with the local police department to see where you can park and for how long.
Measure Success And Make Changes
At the end of every event or set up, it’s so important to debrief. Collect as much data as you can on demographics and foot traffic. Listen to any challenges that were encountered during the day.
Pay attention to the times that most people engaged with the food truck. Being efficient means being set up at a location when it’s highly trafficked. If activity dropped off early, or picked up late, you can consider moving to additional locations to make the most of your investment.
Food Truck Fundamentals
For as many uses as a food truck can have, you should remember not to forget the basics: good food. You don’t have to be in the F&B Industry to take pride in the culinary aspect of your branded promotion.
Plus, if the product or service you provide is unrelated to the food industry, we’ll work with you to help craft a fun menu with treats that tie into your brand. As we said above, there’s nothing like the power of food to build a positive and memorable experience.
It’s not the menu items that can build your brand, it’s the entire experience including shape and feel of the container, along with the graphics.
Make Branded Food Trucks Part Of Your 2022 Marketing Plan
Some of the biggest companies in the US are utilizing food trucks to reach new customers and deeply engage them in their brand. Whether you have a big business, small business, old or new, food trucks can play a big part in bringing your brand engagement to new heights.
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