How you can use vehicle policies to maintain brand standards
Maintaining your brand standards starts with your vehicle policy. Even if your employees drive their personal cars to work, your vehicle policy can govern how their car looks during business hours.
Managing Brand Standards is a 360, round-the-clock effort for organizations, but important guidelines could be missing from key areas where they have high impact. One area is your vehicle policy. Find out how to ensure this area is covered to uphold your brand standards.
You’ve done your brand guidelines. You have beautiful ads and imagery going out on your marketing channels. Your logo is updated in 87 places. What else is there? Unsurprisingly, there are still a lot of areas where your brand shows up that fly under the radar, and one of those is out in the field.
Your employees who drive for work are often seen as the face of your company, interacting with prospects and customers on a daily basis. Your vehicle policy, the one that governs rights and behavior in the field, can have an even more profoundly positive effect when brand standards are built into it.
For example, a vehicle policy may outline a vehicle standard and company image in a few lines, but most vehicle policies only nod to this, rather than providing in-depth guidelines around how employees can follow these practices. Here are a few easy ways to add brand standards to your vehicle policy that will drive great results.
You may want to consider going into detail about the appearance of the vehicle. Appearance can be subjective, so outlining cleanliness practices (inside and outside) are important for maintaining your brand standards.
Driving and Road Safety
How a vehicle shows up on the road is also important. Specifically, outlining things like thoughtful parking (no double parking or blocking lanes), obeying traffic and road signs (no speeding or aggressive driving), and avoiding dangerous driving like tailgating as part of your policy — even if your cars are not branded.
Furthermore, having a policy on the use of a phone in the car is important. Many companies leverage vehicle reimbursement programs, or VRPs, that require using an app to actively log mileage. It’s important for your drivers’ safety and your company image that employees are not using their phones while driving. Not only is this against the law, it can also come across very negatively for your company if they are caught doing so at a red light, for example. Setting this standard in a vehicle policy and also ensuring your teams adhere to it are very important.
Inset: With Cardata, the need to use your phone to track mileage in the car is almost nonexistent. The app lets you set a schedule and will run in the background, without the screen having to be on. This decreases the chance of driver distraction and gives both you and your team peace of mind that their miles will be covered no matter what.
Driver dress codes
Your employees should also observe company dress codes when in the field. Setting guidelines around field business attire, such as wearing a uniform (if applicable) or presenting a tidy appearance outside one’s vehicle, can also prevent misrepresentations of your brand.
Other ways to positively impact brand standards through your vehicle policy are to be prescriptive about car treatments like window tinting or bumper stickers. These should be outlined with clear directions and, depending on your company image, may want to be outlawed entirely.
Company stickers on personal vehicles
If you are asking employees to use a branded company logo decal or sticker on their personal vehicle, note that this is an employee preference and cannot be mandated. If some employees choose to do this, ensure that you offer professional services to affix and remove the sticker at the employer’s expense. Outlining this in the vehicle policy is a good idea so employees do not attempt to stick it on themselves, which can lead to uneven placement or bubbling.
Some employees may prefer not to brand their own vehicles, and this is ok. Most branding is permanent and will lead to paint damage if removed. So, depending on whether your team is deeply committed to branding their own cars or not, outlining this in a vehicle policy must be treated for individual use cases.
An alternative is to use a removable vinyl sticker on the inside of a window. This will help it withstand extreme weather and is a popular alternative that can easily be removed during non-working hours.
When done thoughtfully, your brand standards can be upheld in the field by your mobile employees. Outlining best practices, guidelines and solutions in your vehicle policy are smart ways to cover your company’s bases and ensure all guidelines are clear when it comes to business driving.