There are a million internet articles about what your blank says about you. What do your clothes say about you? What does your home say about you? What does your diet say about you? In an image-conscious age, it seems that everything we buy has the power to communicate something about our personality and value.
Obviously, it’s a specious idea that the things we own can give someone a full picture of who we are. But the idea actually holds water in the business world, where image can be critically important in attracting customers and controlling a brand.
A business with a swanky office in a desirable part of downtown practically screams success. A business driving a clunky, old car to client meetings, with a peeling paint job and an out-dated logo – not so much. As much as we might resist the idea, your vehicle says a lot about your business.
In this blog post, we’ll talk briefly about the importance of finding a business vehicle that combines image and functionality. Then, as a fun exercise, we’ll walk through different types of vehicles, and discuss what they might communicate about your business.
Image & Functionality
It has to be a balance. And it has to align with your business’ particular priorities. If your business’ value proposition centres on no-frills functionality – say you’re a transport business, or a trades business – than it’s natural that you’d gravitate toward functionality when putting together a commercial fleet. You want a fleet that will get the job done efficiently and effectively, and image is a sub-concern.
If your business is more “client facing”, and depends heavily on perception – say you’re a real estate agency or a tech startup – it’s natural to prioritize for aesthetics. A Mercedes-Benz, as opposed to a Toyota Corolla, is going to impress prospective clients.
In either case, image matters. Even in the case of the former, where you’re prioritizing functionality, it’s still important that you project an image of class and prosperity. Your clients will see your vehicle, and their perception of it will colour their thoughts about your business as a whole. It’s one of the many reasons why teaming with commercial vehicle leasing specialists like AUTO ONE Group helps your business.
With that in mind, let’s look at a few different types of vehicles, and discuss what they can communicate about your business.
An Old Car vs. A New Car
And old car, one that appears out-dated or on its last legs, communicates to customers and clients that your business is past its heyday. If your business prioritizes aesthetics, an old car tells people that your business is perhaps behind the times. If your business prioritizes functionality, an old car tells people that your business might not be prospering.
Oppositely, a new car delivers a clear message of success and modernity. Roll up to a construction site in a new Ford F350, and the client will know they made a good choice; a business in a new truck is a business that’s been trusted, and succeeded, before. Roll up to a meeting with a real estate client in a new BMW X2, and your client will breathe a sigh of relief; a business in a new luxury car understands the value of finer things.
But, you might think, it’s not feasible for a business to keep buying new vehicles. No, it’s not. That’s why we at AUTO ONE Group are big proponents of commercial vehicle leasing – leasing, rather than buying, your fleet vehicles. When you lease your vehicles, you get to replace them more frequently (every 2-4 years, depending on the term), meaning that you’re always driving a new-ish vehicle. You’re never stuck with an out-dated fleet.
A Beaten Up Car vs. A Well-Maintained Car
A beaten up car, one that coughs and grinds as it pulls up, is not a good look. If you trusted a business to, let’s say, maintain your plumbing or maintain your finances, and they can’t even maintain their vehicle, it would probably give you pause. Make sure your fleet is well kept, and that you’re following key safety tips for your business fleet – it makes an appreciable difference in how your business is perceived.
A well-maintained car is a basic building block of business image. The same way you would iron your suit and do up your tie, or wash your work shirt in order to present yourself properly, you should keep a well-maintained fleet.
One of the things that makes AUTO ONE Group special is that we’re a one-stop shop for commercial partners. We’ve helped business of all sizes maintain a reliable and modern fleet, offering access to easy servicing and upgrades.
A Downmarket Model vs. A Luxury Car
If your business’ bread and butter is its image, don’t settle for a downmarket vehicle. Cars from the cheaper, less-prestigious sector of the market communicate the same about your business – that you’re a budget option.
If you don’t want to be the budget option in your industry – if you want to be seen as the luxury option – you should drive a luxury car. Although most business owners understand this intuitively, they’re reticent to shell out the extra money for the luxury option.
That’s the beautiful thing about leasing, though: it doesn’t have to be more expensive. Monthly leasing costs are lower than purchase financing, so your business can afford to drive a luxury car. If you browse our nationwide inventory, there’s a great chance you will find a luxury car in your budget, one that communicates success and sophistication.
A new, well-kept and upmarket vehicle sends a far better message to clients, both existing and prospective, than an old, rundown, budget vehicle. And, with business vehicle leasing, you can transform your fleet without breaking the bank or throttling your business’ cash flow. Come chat with one of our knowledgeable representatives at AUTO ONE Group, and start sending a clear, effective and positive message with your commercial fleet.