An experienced driver in my neck of the woods knows that you never start into the intersection as soon as the traffic light turns green. The probability that someone is going to run the red light from the other direction is astoundingly high. Several weeks ago, that very maxim was proven again by an unlikely offender – AAA. That’s right, a tow truck from the local American Automobile Association ran the red light at a rather busy intersection. To add to the irony, it’s common knowledge in this area that these trucks are more likely to run a red light than they are to stop at it.
The experience sparked a thought: What about the impact of that action on the company’s marketing? I often tell clients that everything they do (good and bad) is a form of marketing. A good receptionist can be more powerful than an average ad, even when the ad gets great exposure. If this is true (and experience says that it is) what does a rude or dangerous driver say about the company whose logo appears on the vehicle? When your company’s truck cuts someone off in traffic, runs a red light or litters the highway with trash, does that action reinforce your desired message? If that’s a consumer’s first exposure to your business would you expect that contact to result in a customer? No—instead the action cements in the audience’s mind that they’ll need to find someone else to provide that service.
Aside from the danger involved (not to mention the legal risks), an inconsiderate driver jeopardizes the success of your business. Before you put a company truck on the road or slap the logo on your car, consider the driver. If they (or you) are a road-rage risk, don’t let them behind the wheel. Firstly, the damage they can do could wreck a life. But even if they avoid involvement in an accident, you never want to hear, “There goes that idiot in the (your company’s name) truck.”