What could be sweeter than the smell of success when you’re a leading florist in your community? The problem, of course, is that you have to make sure that you’re well-known to tap into this four-billion dollar industry.
As with other retail and service professionals, florists have to compete on every possible level. From the signage on their buildings to the design of their websites, they must make the most of their assets to woo customers. Only then can they begin to reap the benefits that come from loyal customers such as repeat business and a steady flow of referrals.
Branding plays a key role in differentiating one florist from the next. Aside from typical branding mechanisms like social media and direct mail, florists can also use their vehicles to attract interest and increase awareness. Specifically, those that have purchased Ford or Chevy vans for sale will discover that their investments can be cleverly utilized for marketing purposes.
Below are a few key ways for florists to improve word-of-mouth about their brand simply by taking advantage of the van they already use for deliveries and other business responsibilities.
Wrap the Vehicle Up Nicely
It doesn’t matter if you have a modest van or a 15-passenger Chevy Express: You can get it wrapped with your messaging for a nominal fee.
The process of wrapping a vehicle involves adding a sheet of pre-printed vinyl over the existing exterior paint of your van. The vinyl clings in all weather to the van’s surface, providing you with an instant traveling billboard. Wherever you drive your florist van, people can’t help but notice its content.
Speaking of the copy, be smart about how much verbiage you place on your wrapped van. It’s better to be short and sweet; after all, most people can’t (or won’t) read paragraphs while they’re moving in traffic. Work with a professional marketer if need-be to devise content that’s perfectly suited for your van wrap. Then, get bids for this project.
Try not to get a cheap wrap job, or you’ll be dissatisfied with the quality. This is one area where it pays to spend as much as you comfortably can. Your goal should be to have a branded van with imagery and content that echoes what consumers will see on your website. As a last tip, remember to be colorful and choose a fresh design that dovetails perfectly with your florist shop.
Park Your Company Vehicle in Clear View of Travelers
When your corporate floral store’s van isn’t in use, don’t hide it in the back behind the building or keep it only semi-visible at the side of your building. Instead, pull it front and center so everyone who passes by your flower shop can see it.
Over time, people will begin to associate the van with your company name. When they see it in front of your structure, they’ll immediately think of plants and flowers. Eventually, some of them will be in the need for a floral arrangement or even wedding bouquet, and they’ll instinctively know where to go.
Be certain that you use your van as a billboard no matter where you go. If you have to make a run to Costco or a big-box retailer to get office supplies, always park in a spot where you’ll get a lot of views. Your job is to make sure it’s difficult to miss your van!
Ask People to “Tag” Images of Your Van on Social Media
Looking for a fun way to hold a contest and get your floral business’s name more link juice online? Offer people in your town the chance to win a gift basket or certificate if they catch your wrapped van and upload it to social media using special hashtags like #ABCFloristVan or #ABCVanSpotting.
Not everyone will take you up on your offer to take pictures of the van, but you’ll get a boost every time someone does. For instance, if a woman snaps the image of your florists’ van in the parking lot at the local mall, she will upload it onto Facebook. Not only will she link your name to her post, but she’ll be advertising your business to all her followers.
For the cost of a gift card or small arrangement, you could basically get instant advertising. Who knows? She might decide upon receiving your present that she wants to continue to shop at your establishment, thereby stretching your advertising dollars even further.
Make Your Van Into a Traveling Botanical Education Kit
Schools regularly look for volunteers to help them provide knowledge to children, whether it’s at a fair for elementary-aged kids or a career event for middle schoolers. Your florist shop van could become a much-appreciated addition to these types of gatherings.
Basically, you would need to create some kind of presentation and then gather all the plants and flowers together to illustrate your talk. A great example would be to discuss succulents by showcasing several types of cacti, as well as aloe vera plants and ponytail palms. Simply pack up your branded van and head to the school. Give each child an informative card with your shop’s name on it, and remind them that when they see your van, they should wave.
An interesting side effect of this kind of outreach is that it gives you something to talk about on your own blog and social media sites. Additionally, all the adults at the school from administrators and teachers to parent volunteers will become familiar with your company. In time, this familiarity should drive more sales to your door.
Speed up Your Branding With a Van
Branding your floral shop using your van (not to mention all your other platforms and strategies) won’t happen in a week or a month, but with consistency, it will produce fruits eventually. Just as you wouldn’t expect a seed to grow to maturity in a day, you can’t anticipate that your brand marketing will develop roots and take hold immediately. Be patient, and you’ll begin to reap what you sow.