When employees of Taylor Made, the second largest Owens Corning basement finishing franchise in the country, located in Edgewood, Md., deliver materials, they show up in a trailer 8 feet tall and 16 feet long that's fully wrapped in graphics showing a finished basement, along with the manufacturer's logo. The same distinctive image is on the brochures that the company drops in neighborhoods where crews are working. It's all about brand awareness, president Steve Taylor says. “We hear, ‘Oh, you're the guys with that truck.'”
Matters of Scale Signed trucks have at least two advantages over yard signs. They're impossible to miss, and often they're up a lot longer. “Literally, they're small billboards,” says Frank Farmer, president of American Roofs in Flushing, Mich.
Taylor Made puts its trailers on site two to three weeks before production begins, leaves them there as materials are unloaded and installed, then uses them to haul trash away. The company nets extra visibility when employees take the trailers home at night.
However, some exclusive residential areas put a time limit on the presence of jobsite trailers. American Roofs has been limited to as few as five days in some neighborhoods. Several times a year, Taylor Made runs into homeowner association rules that prevent the contractor from using the trailers at all.
Worth Its Weight in Leads Having trailers double as jobsite signs doesn't come cheap. Applying the design costs $2,500 for each of Taylor Made's 35 trailers. The graphics stay fresh for about three years before they need repainting.
But both Taylor Made and American Roofs say the expense is worth it. Taylor Made reports $540,000 in revenue in 2005 from the trailers and its six branded dump trucks used for waterproofing jobs. American Roofs, which also uses traditional jobsite signs, credits those sources with more than $600,000 in sales over the past five years. “It's an extremely efficient way to advertise,” Farmer says.
In fact, American Roofs is so sold on leveraging jobsite exposure that it's rolling out a more sophisticated alternative to the “Take One” box on its jobsite signs. Instead of offering brochures, yard signs will instruct people to tune their radios to a certain AM frequency, where they will hear a message about the product being installed. Four of these mini-radio broadcasting devices are currently being tested.