Testimonials at Your Service
It’s tempting to submit an invoice and sprint toward the next potential payer, but you should also follow up with all clients to collect their feedback. All too often, we hear from customers only when problems arise. When that happens, make it right and learn from the mistake. But see satisfied customers as equally useful: Their praise can become a valuable testimonial for your website and other marketing materials. (Just be sure to ask their permission first.)
Whether you’re winding down a successful job or revising an unhappy result, you can breed repeat business by gathering feedback – and these vehicles are ripe for that opportunity.
Delivering six-figure value
When your business is based in New York City, you’re competing for attention in one of the most ad-intensive environments in the world. RDS Delivery Service (New York City) first came across Graphic D-Signs Inc. (Washington, NJ) and president and creative director Dan Antonelli online. “After doing extensive research, having multiple conversations with their team and reading Dan’s book, ‘Building a Big Small Business Brand,’ I finally decided to move forward in January 2016,” said Larry Zogby, president of RDS Delivery.
Larry initially wanted a design that featured the company’s existing branding. “We discussed some of the challenges with their current brand, and how a new brand might deliver a better brand promise and give us a solid foundation to design the fleet branding around,” Dan said. “I came up with the idea of the bird and messenger bag as a small tie-in to the pigeon carriers. It was simple and iconic, and the color scheme was unique in their competitive space.”
Graphic D-Signs utilized Adobe Illustrator CS6 for the design. As a design-only agency, Dan works with or supplies artwork to installers all over the nation. In this case, JMR Graphics (Central Islip, NY) used 3M IJ380CV3-10 vinyl printed on a Vutek 150 with 1500 V2 Series Ink to carry out the design. JMR also used 8548G Laminate on an Orca III laminator. Installers Joseph Carlsen and Keith Starling used 3M Gold Monkey Strips (made of felt), a torch/heat gun and Primer 94.
As for the finished product, Zogby said: “Within two weeks of wrapping our trucks we earned a $117,000 opportunity from a client who saw our trucks. I never realized the value of a brand until I partnered with Graphic D-Signs. And now, here I am, looking back and wishing that I had taken the leap years ago. Our new brand is working seven days a week, and our phones are ringing off the hook!” Now that’s a testimonial.
No horsing around with this wrap
A relatively new business such as Benjamin Moore - The Painted Horse (Lexington, KY) is always challenged to attracted attention. The owners of The Painted Horse were looking for something to lure customers, so they asked FastSigns (Lexington, KY) about a wrap for their van. The Painted Horse brought an existing logo to Bill Marcum, owner of FastSigns, but that didn’t mean the design process was easy. “Our designer, Melody Evans, sat down the owner of The Painted Horse and made upwards of around 15 proofs and revisions until the artwork was absolutely perfect,” Bill said. She produced the design using Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud. “The blue faux background was added to fill the white space where the horse did not completely cover the entire van. We also had to work with the previous designer in order to give the customer the highest resolution for their image as possible,” Bill said. Once the background was complete, figuring out what information needed to go on the van and where it fit best were the next trips around track.
FastSigns output and installed the finished design in about 12 working hours. They printed 3M IJ180C Control-Tac vinyl on an Epson Sure-Color S30670 printer. They also used 3M 8518 Gloss Overlaminate on a GBC Titan 165 laminator. Phil Stivender took the lead on the installation, assisted by Jimmy Nolan and Martin Harris, who used 3M PA-1 Gold Applicator squeegees. “Usually, it does take about a day and a half to two days for a complete full wrap,” Bill said.
The finished van was then carefully parked in a small cul-de-sac off a main road on which approximately 30,000 vehicles pass by daily. It didn’t take long for the van to get noticed. “As soon as our wrap was applied on our vehicle, I was floored at how much of a response it generated,” said Jimmy Flynt, owner of The Painted Horse. “We never would have thought that this one thing would drive more business than all of our other marketing efforts combined.”
The exterminator: “I’ll be back”
Return customers are, themselves, testimonials. Bircher Exterminating Services (Phoenix) had been a long-time customer of Arizona Color Wrap Professionals (Phoenix). “We have wrapped several of their vehicles over the years,” said Adam Wheat, graphic designer for Arizona Color. “The owner, Richard Bircher, felt it was time to rebrand and give his wraps an updated look, yet still keep the brand recognition he is known for.” Richard approached Arizona Color to create a superhero-type caricature for the wrap, but he wanted it to be an insect. Together, they came up with the “Super-Bee” concept, which was derived from two different pre-existing digital 3D models: one, a bee with a cape; the other, a 3D superhero. “The pre-existing design that Bircher has been known for has always been their dark forest green color, so we kept that as the main base color and then added several different elements of insects, weeds, termites, etc.,” Adam said.
Using Photoshop and Illustrator, Adam finalized the design for output on Avery MPI1005SC vinyl, printed on an HP Designjet L260. Arizona Color also utilized its Avery DOL1360 laminator. The installers, Josh Gillenwater, Jimmie Harmon, Corey Guerrero, Taylor O’Briant and Dean Simmons, divided the necessary tasks and used Avery Blue Felt squeegees.
Having pleased this customer again, Arizona Color can likely count on Richard returning the next time he needs to let his customers know that their termite infestation is a job for Super-Bee. And remember, after the job’s well done, check in with the client. You might get a heck of a testimonial that can bring you superhero-level success.
Enhance your Signs of the Times reading experience by exploring our interactive digital edition. Receive it in your inbox by subscribing online.