A brand needs to be consistent.
Your brand is visually expressed through your truck’s name, logo, and design and should be consistently shown everywhere: on the food truck, plates, napkins, bags, business cards, menus, website, social media pages, staff uniforms, email signatures, and any other collateral.
Make sure your name and logo are legible on all sides of the truck when the service window is up or down, including the roof if you live in a city with tall buildings. The logo should be simple but memorable, easy to remember but recognizable. The logo must correlate with the brand for the message to resonate with viewers.
The non-visual components of a brand include the language with all written and verbal communications, the way customers get greeted, and the tone of voice you use online and offline.
The way you treat customers is a part of your brand, so be sure that you treat them like VIPs, especially those who are loyal.
Even if you don’t have a formal customer loyalty program, learn people’s names, memorize their faces, get to know them, and give them an extra freebie every once in a while.
Remembering the small details lets them know they are appreciated as individuals, that their business matters to you, and that they aren’t just seen as revenue.
When you have a unique connection with customers is what truly surprises and delights them. It brings the “wow” factor that will increase customer retention.
Branding is marketing and communications, but marketing isn’t limited to branding. Marketing is another tool that can be used to forge relationships between customers and your food truck brand.
The schoolbook difference between marketing and branding is that marketing focuses specifically on selling something or summoning customers, while branding includes the emotions that are evoked while engaging with your brand.
Social media marketing pairs extremely well with branding when focused on engaging customers, naturally interacting on a human level. Social media is actively engaging with customers, having personality-based conversations on topics of mutual interest rather than trying to sell a product.
When you know and strongly believe in your brand, your social media marketing will be much stronger.
Other marketing strategies can help you excite and entice customers as well when aimed at building relationships rather than promoting a particular product or event.
For example, you could start a blog chronicling your days on the food truck. A blog would allow you to express the brand personality while forming connections with food truck customers. Host contests in which customers name new menu items.
Any unique, engaging, and surprising approach to marketing will help you build a loyal fan base that is enthusiastic about your brand and excited to visit your food truck.