How to Create a Unique Driver Brand
Tom Balzer, President of the OTA, asked us if we had anything unique up our sleeves for the 99th annual Ohio Trucking Association Conference in Dayton. It just so happens the workshop I hold is all about helping your company be unique to drivers in a sea of sameness.
The industry has been worrying about a driver shortage since deregulation but is 10 years behind the times when it comes to employee marketing and being an employer of choice. I ran a recruiting department so I understand it’s easier said than done in this industry. However, we had great success because our messaging stood out boldly. Our messages turned heads and we created more leads than the recruiters could handle.
The good news is the majority of trucking companies have not figured it out yet. You do not have to accept a tight driver pool as your limitation to growth.
We broke down this workshop into four parts for those not able to attend. Part one is How to Create a Unique Driver Brand. Start by looking at one of your ads recruiting drivers right now. Put a logo of your competitors on it. Can all or most of the words to your company and jobs still apply? If so, your ad is worthless. Go look at the racks of cards recruiting drivers at the Pilot Flying J - of the dozens there, how many actually stand out?
Define Your Value Proposition
A platitude is something anyone can say and they don’t need to prove it. You can’t prove you have the “best pay” or “great equipment”. It’s a subject claim like the World’s Best Cup of Coffee sign in Elf. You need to create specific claims that someone other than Buddy the Elf believes.
On three to five post it notes, write down three to five reasons why a driver would join and stay with your company (one reason per Post-It). Obtain these three to five reasons by conducting stay interviews with your drivers - do not sit in your office and drum up these ideas because driver’s opinions are the only one’s who matter. Then study your competition’s ads, websites, trucks, etc. and document their three to fives claims. Put the Post-It notes on the wall to visually display which of your claims is different from the competition.
Define Your Driver Personas and Apply Your Messages
Different drivers value different things. Your stay interviews with existing drivers will help you determine your different driver personas. We define driver personas by their job duties and their shared values, motivations, and personalities. To help create the different personas, start with the different jobs you offer and spread your stay interviews evenly across each job. The common themes will boil to the top.
Click the image to watch the the presentation on "Building a Driver Brand Statement."