Wrapping Your Service Fleet: The Basics

By: Tom Kissane 

You’ve decided to wrap your service fleet. Whether a single truck or 20 trucks,  there are some rules you need to follow. My company has wrapped about 14 vehicles over the past few years and after some tweaking we’ve gotten the design to where it can fit on a box truck or a small van.

Rule #1: Start With A Great Brand

The primary reason so many wraps fail from a marketing standpoint is because the business has a poor brand identity and/or logo. The brand should always be the primary message for a vehicle wrap, unless you have national brand recognition. For a service business trying to make an impact in the community, the message is always about the brand. Starting with a poor brand means you have failed before you’ve even begun: by wasting money on a wrap and missing a huge marketing opportunity. It’s too much money to play with. The brand is the message, period!

Rule #2: Do Not Use Photos

A photo is not your brand identity; it doesn’t connect the consumer with your business name.  It may connect me with what the company does, but so should a good brand.

Take the usual examples, like a plumbing contractor with a picture of a water heater. Great! Now I know you do water heaters, but who are you? I don’t know, because I only have 2.5 seconds to view your message. Consider an appliance service company with a picture of a high end kitchen. Great!  A really good looking dream kitchen. But, are you a granite installer, a floor, a cabinet or a lighting company?  Since the photo is the dominant element on the vehicle, I have no idea what you do. You only have 2.5 seconds to make an impression!

Rule #3: Limit Your Advertising Copy

There are only 3 or 4 things a good wrap needs: strong brand implementation, a tagline or message, a web address, and maybe a phone number. Resist the temptation to fill the empty areas with non-important things like Facebook, Twitter, BBB and other useless logos. Use the KISS method – Keep It Simple Silly! Once a customer finds you, when they have a need, they can find that information on their own. If you prioritize your copy, it will be much more effective. In general, the hierarchy should be: BRAND, TAGLINE, WEB and/or PHONE NUMBER.

Rule #4: Design To Stand Out, Not Fit In

This is the part where many might say diamond plate, carbon fiber or tribal flames will make your truck wrap stand out. On the contrary! By eliminating all of those fills, noisy backgrounds, photos, lines, and sparkles, you’ll be well on your way to designing a wrap which actually stands out. We are inundated each and every day with visual noise and clutter. When we see something with impact — something that we can actually read and remember — it can’t help but stand out among the visual clutter.

Rule #5: Simple & Obvious Is Good

If a customer needs to work hard to figure out the primary brand message, it’s a lost opportunity. This medium isn’t the same as print design, where the viewer can stop, absorb the advertising and try and understand the message. Consider the one, primary takeaway you’re hoping to leave with the viewer. What is it? Does the wrap effectively communicate it? Is it lost in the imagery? Distance legibility is a primary concern. You have only a few seconds to capture the viewer’s attention and have your brand and message be understood and, most importantly, remembered.

Rule # 6: All This Work & Investment For Nothing


You’ve hired the best designers to design an award winning truck wrap. You’ve even gotten valuable feedback from employees, colleagues and current customers. By wrapping your vehicles you are advertising that you are a professional company. The same branding and message on your vehicles needs to be carried through your online presence and marketing materials. You’ve spent a lot of time and money to grab the attention of a prospective customer, don’t let it go to waste.



Share this Post!

Need Help Hiring?
Only members have access to CareerPlug, our hiring software of choice.
Member Benefit


Love to Save?
Lower your business expenses with members-only discounts on fuel, supplies, payroll, & more.
Member Benefit
Want an HR Solution?
UASA members save on this turnkey solution for effective HR implementation.
Member Benefit


Share this Post!

United Appliance Servicers Association