Food Truck Branding
Every food truck operation is a brand, whether it’s a single taco truck parked on the side of the highway or part of a huge national brand.
The brand is essential for your food truck to survive, it defines everything your truck stands for; it differentiates it and allows all advertising and marketing messages to revolve around it.
Why is it important to have a strong brand?
If you don’t have a brand [your food truck is] an empty shell. You haven’t positioned yourself in the consumer’s mind. If you don’t activate a brand in the correct way you have an empty and meaningless promise sitting out there.
What are the key elements to developing a brand?
Your brand is about every aspect of your mobile business. You have to look at the experience your customers receive when they visit your truck, food, messaging, etc.
When you are branding, or redefining your brand, you have to understand who your primary and secondary audiences are and what the needs and wants of those audiences are.
What you have to find is differentiation.
How does a food truck differentiate itself?
It starts in your tagline. Does your tagline resonate with your market? If you are a pizza truck who promotes fresh products, your tagline must explain that. Does it say you don’t make your sauce from paste that has to be rehydrated in the store but from real tomatoes that have been picked.
What are some big mistakes made when branding?
The big one is a lack of a differentiating position. Sometimes mobile business owners go with the big campaign but haven’t really looked under the hood and looked at whether their campaign really connects with the primary and secondary market with which they want to resonate and don’t ask whether [their brand] is really showing what they want to stand for. They also don’t judge themselves critically.
How do you find out whether your brand and your messaging connect with your primary and secondary markets?
A food truck must look at who is the audience and who is the direct competitive set. Then you do some research—you could do it internally or with an outside consulting firm. These consultants will tell you who has the most propensity to eat with you, break the sub groups down, men/women, young/old/middle aged, with kids/without kids, etc.
Then you define your audience. This is absolutely an art and a skill in the world of marketing and advertising. With this information every brand can maximize its reach.
How can you reinforce your brand without overdoing it?
I don’t think you can overdo it ever. If you look at consumers today they are overwhelmed with messaging so if you’re not out there messaging often to your primary and secondary audiences, you’re not resonating with them and your brand will not thrive.
Why is consistency important within a brand?
If you fracture the message you confuse consumers because they don’t know what you stand for.
Become a recognizable fixture in the local mobile food community with careful branding design. Remember to keep your messaging succinct and on point with your food truck’s personality. Use your branding to put a positive face on your mobile business and advertise a taste of what customers can expect to enjoy.