Your brand is everything your company does in the marketplace to differentiate itself from competitors. Logos, advertising, operations plan, trucks, uniforms, etc., contribute to your brand. What comes to mind when you think about the following companies: Walmart, Apple computers and Starbucks? How many millions of dollars have these companies spent to create their brands, and how many billions are those brands worth? How would a customer feel if she walked into a Starbucks and the barista’s uniform was filthy or the store had a foul odor? These companies work diligently to prevent negative impressions that conflict with their brand.
A pest control company also has a brand. A company can spend a lot of money on trucks, logos, signage, uniforms, business cards, forms, etc. A company can spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising to tell people how great it is. A company also can spend a lot of time and money developing an operating program and training technicians. In today’s competitive market, branding is critical.
Is the spray equipment a company uses supporting and contributing to its brand or detracting from it? Examine these specifics:
- Professional. Does the spray equipment present a professional image? Is the equipment in good shape, or is duct taped together? Is it of reasonable age, or is it ancient? Is the hose spliced in 17 places?
- Neat/organized. Is the equipment conveying the message the company is well organized? Can technicians easily access key components, or do they struggle to reach equipment? Must they dig through piles of stuff to get what they need, or is it readily available? Remember the business adage a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind? The same applies to company vehicles.
- Signage. Does the equipment maximize opportunities for signage?
- Image. Is the appearance of company trucks and equipment consistent with the company’s brand?
- Free of debris. Is the truck free of debris? Does the tech use the bed as a trash can? Do chemicals build up in the bed or around the tank?
- Clean. Is the truck and equipment always spotless? A dirty truck sends a message to customers that the company doesn’t care about cleanliness or safety. Customers might think that if the company doesn’t care enough to keep its own property (truck and equipment) neat and clean, why would it care any more about the customer’s property? If your equipment isn’t clean, techs won’t stay clean. Their uniforms will pick up chemical stains and odors from contact with the vehicle and equipment.
- Easy to clean. Has the equipment been designed for easy cleaning, or does it seem like it was designed to accumulate dirt? If the equipment has been designed for easy cleaning, it will be much easier to get your technicians to clean the vehicle regularly. If it’s a hassle to clean, they won’t do it.
Look at the equipment from the customer’s perspective. Is the equipment sending the message the company wants and intends? Continually emphasize the technicians’ and truck’s appearance is very important to the company’s image in the marketplace. Work with the equipment provider to ensure equipment is designed to be neat, well-organized and easy to clean. Inspect vehicles to ensure they remain spotless. Provide positive recognition to employees who support the brand.