The trucking industry has made news and taken some bad hits to its reputation over the last several years. From recruitment struggles and shortages of truckers to driver’s hourly restrictions and supply chain nightmares, now is the time for a new branding strategy.
Key areas to help improve your company’s future and the future of the trucking industry:
The trucking industry is an important industry for our economy. Truckers transport billions of tons of freight that bring an incredible number of jobs in logistics. The trucking industry is also a highly competitive industry. Branding helps trucking companies get ahead of their competition and turn one-time buyers into loyal customers. When that customer is a large company, it can result in a significant impact to the bottom line.
But competition involves more than looking at the bottom line. It involves remaining true to your values and staying current with trends. It also involves growing sustainably with a healthy and motivated team and well-maintained equipment.
In relating this to brand strategy, you want to think about who you are and how your customers view your company. What is the narrative you want your employees, customers and the community to think about? This is your specific story. Is the narrative consistent with your company’s big vision, growth goals and daily actions?
While healthy competition is important for the industry to thrive, today’s narrative around the trucking industry will affect your company’s individual brand. It would be unwise to overlook or downplay this. To lead the competition, your company must look ahead to a long-term brand strategy that can advance you into the future of logistics.
Your brand can benefit from shifting away from the struggles of the industry by being at the forefront of solutions. How is your company addressing and advancing beyond the industry struggles?
One way is to use technology more effectively to address the driver shortage and delivery delays. Historically, experienced drivers have been rewarded with the most desirable routes. But this can discourage new drivers who believe they will always get stuck with the problem routes.
Consider that the best routes often get drivers home at reasonable times, while the problem routes have extensive delays and longer days. Use technology to implement a “round robin” approach to dispatch route assignments in an unbiased way. When specific delivery time stipulations and long waits, delay drivers they struggle to make wages that they can survive on; an undelivered load does not get paid. Drivers become more aggravated and less loyal because of the increased difficulty reaching destinations on time. Drivers also become displeased with having not getting back home as planned for their needed down time.
Now is an amazing time to embrace the full possibilities of technology in your new brand strategy. Technological innovations can help you keep up with growing trends while meeting the challenges that face the industry. Through technology, you can change the attitude of “we’ve always done it this way” to help drivers plan better routes, manage fuel better and schedule timely maintenance. Sharing technology directly with the drivers can help motivate them and keep them satisfied with their job.
Imagine a branding strategy that makes the whole process of logistics more efficient. Strategic planning is used to help you find more qualified drivers, find more efficient routes for your drivers, track the movement of goods and supplies, and improve overall performance.
While this is great, many trucking companies have placed their focus on their own efficiencies at the expense of addressing inefficiencies across the logistics industry. Consider that logistics, in general, is defined as being efficient and effective from source to end user. Unfortunately when drivers are bottlenecked at warehouses and distribution centers, they have lengthy waits to load and unload. Creating more efficiency for your drivers is essential the future for your brand to thrive.
The goal is for trucking companies, to align their interest in efficiency directly to their bottom line, while managing the disruption within the total supply chain. For example, warehouses and distribution centers can bottleneck the drivers while they inspect goods for approval. To make matters worse, drivers are usually limited to no parking or no overnight accommodation while traveling. Since drivers are paid by the mile or load, when they are stuck in the middle of these inefficiencies it is costing the not only the driver but also the company. And over time, these inefficiencies affect the reputation and overall quality of service to your clients.
There isn’t an easy singular answer to these complex situations. That is why having a clear strategy for the brand includes ways to improve negotiations and agreements with your drivers in mind. Taking time to clarifying your long-term vision and goals for the company will improve efficiency for everyone.
Changing the Narrative
These are just a few thoughts for taking a fresh look at your brand strategy. Impact Branding Consulting can help you brainstorm ideas and develop a new branding strategy that looks ahead to a new future in trucking that puts you in the lead. Schedule a Power Chat with our Brand Strategist today to start the conversation and explore the possibilities.