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Branded Merchandise Success for Transportation Brands

Posted by Michelle England on Oct 13, 2015 9:11:54 AM

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promotional products for transportation industry from datasourceRequires an Understanding of Their Labor Forces and the Need for Advocacy and Pride

Transportation brands have a unique opportunity to create brand affinity from a diverse associate base.  Often, employees come from varied backgrounds, and are employed in several departmental categories: management, operations, engineering, terminals, warehousing and the fleet drivers themselves. These individuals work in a highly specialized space. They form a strong camaraderie that transcends time, as well as the companies that employ them, and often result in long-term relationships and careers. They take great pride in what they do, and this passion is shown each day during their work activities.  These factors culminate into terrific opportunities for marketers within transportation brands to capitalize and turn employees into ambassadors for the brand. This creates far-reaching impacts for the Company, from improved associate retention rates to better customer service and references that drive additional business. 

The first step is to address some of the areas where a transportation company can provide added value and comfort to their employees, and you can start by asking yourself or executive leadership the following questions...

Can you create associate segments to improve your branded merchandise offering?

Start by breaking your employees into groups, such as by location and by role. For example, executives vs sales vs terminal vs drivers.  From here, you can customize your assortment.  So, a group of drivers based in Kansas City should be treated as such, while a group of professionals working in trucking terminals in Philadelphia should have a program customized to fit their own needs. Start by thinking simple! Truckers may appreciate a hooded sweatshirt and pull over cap bearing the Company’s logo, while those working in an office would benefit from having coffee mugs and pens with appropriate branding. After all, one size does not fit all!

Does your branded merchandise partner understand your brand enough to make sure that the associates have appropriate selections and that the promotional items  represent the Company’s branding?

Perhaps there are promotional products that not only serve a logistical purpose, but also reflect the brand and the manner in which it is delivered. Trucking? Railroad?  Shipping? If you’re a marketing manager, you can have fun with these! Everyone is familiar with stress balls (who doesn’t love something they can squeeze the life out of during a two hour conference call?), so why not take that to the next level? Work with a branded merchandise provider to customize your stress object into a train for railroad transportation groups, a miniature 18-wheeler for those in trucking, and perhaps some box-shaped packages for those in the shipping industry. You’ll be surprised the kick your team gets out of them, and give enough away – and they’re sure to land on family and friends of your employees, only furthering your brand reach.

Can you build an awards program to distribute branded merchandise?  

The best part of giving away smart, branded merchandise – is how you give it away! Many transportation companies coordinate rewards programs based upon volume of shipments, safety, customer service, and other aspects of their day-to-day responsibilities. Incentivizing employees to do a great job by providing useful and classy rewards is a “win-win” for everyone. And make them desirable and memorable.  What about current trending apparel from Stormy Kromer or dependable drinkwear from Yeti or HydroFlask?  Did I mention a good branded merchandise provider can help you get creative?  We can! 

How can you better capitalize on your brand’s involvement in transportation industry competitions that celebrate the employees and their field of interests?

There are many events such as Locomotive Engineering Competition, National Truck Driving, etc. that can be leveraged as an opportunity to get in front of industry leaders, potential employees, and others. By entering these events and showing up with comprehensive branding, cool promotional products, and more, you position your Company for visibility, branding, and a certain element of “cool.”

Branded merchandise within the transportation industry provides endless opportunities for branding, improving employee morale and attention, generating exposure to outside organizations and more. For more information, request a meeting, email us at, or call us directly at 877-846-9120.  We are happy to help.

Topics: branded merchandise, promotional products

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