Branding Your Food Truck With Your Customers In Mind

Creating a fantastic menu, providing a professional customer service program and informing customers where they will be parking next seem to be the most common goals of most food truck vendors.

Unfortunately, many have yet to dive too deeply into their brand. Sure, they designed (or had designed) a great logo and wrap for their truck, but branding your food truck is much more than the aesthetics. Too many vendors continue to fail at explaining what their business has to offer to the people in their community. A lot of this seems to come down to not understanding their customers as individuals.

Branding Your Food Truck With Your Customers In Mind

Some of the food truck brands we examined often seem most interested in talking about:

  • Who they are.
  • What they sell.
  • Geographical coverage.
  • Their ownership.
  • Their customer demographics.
  • Financial performance.
  • Their innovations.
  • Their social media marketing initiatives.

Now contrast that with what plays on the minds of customers:

  • Is the truck’s menu aesthetic and functional?
  • Does the food truck’s brand image and reputation fit with who they are?
  • Does it respond to customer complaints?
  • Will the food truck follow ethical business practices?
  • Is the food truck interesting? Is it in the news? Do people talk about it?
  • Who speaks for the brand?
  • Branding consistent? Are customer expectations met?
  • Is it easy to find?
  • Is the menu overly-complicated?
  • Good pricing?

So while food trucks focus on what they are doing, customers focus on how the food truck’s brand makes them feel and which of the many food truck options available to them feels most like them.

Mobile food vendors need to make a shift to a more human level of interaction with their customers. It’s not enough for them to listen and respond to what their research tells them. To be truly responsive, and not just process driven, food trucks need to find ways of talking to their consumers that are more natural sounding, more personality based, more give-and-take, more intuitive, more versatile.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, the real role of social media going forward is that truck owners will need to evolve away from their instinctive nature to sell or talk about themselves. While some food truck owners are doing this, my opinion is that we will see many more follow this path in the years ahead. Along with daily tweets sharing their next location, food trucks will need to engage with customers with different conversations, some scheduled, many not, taking place at different times across a varied range of topics.

If you would like to continue this discussion on branding your food truck feel free to add your comments via social media. Facebook | Twitter

2017-04-05T09:06:29+00:00 By |Branding|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

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