If your restaurant offers delivery services, you may have one really big untapped restaurant marketing idea sitting idle in your parking lot (or rolling meekly down the road). While some of the big pizza chains have known the importance of branded delivery vehicles for years, far too many non-pizza operators (and smaller chains) have overlooked this great opportunity to communicate the brand personality and positioning, as well as opportunities for stimulating loads of viral messaging. A restaurant branded delivery vehicle can pay for itself multiples over in the value of word of mouth marketing, social/viral buzz and public awareness through press and traditional media mentions.
The best way to come up with restaurant marketing ideas is to look outside the four walls of your company and see what others on the cutting edge are doing both in and out of the restaurant industry. But that should be just a starting point. The best ideas will always come from then applying your own brand personality, promises, positioning strategy, story and purpose in to your ideation. Copycats never come out on top in the long-run. And yet at the same time, all great innovators know they have to keep their head on a swivel and be good at both looking outside for inspiration while being even better at adapting and modifying the inspiration in a way that’s new, unique and completely relevant to their own brand, values and vision.
Here are a few cool branded delivery vehicles that caught our eye. We just love companies that think outside of the box like this (and love even more when clients come to us with the kind of open mind that this sort of thing takes).
Oh, what fun!
Babies, puppies, kittens, and this little electric Domino’s delivery car are all too delightful to be ignored. Put your restaurant’s logo on a endearing little car like this and the whole town will take notice. Put your logo on a kitten… well, that would be wrong.
In 1985: Domino’s envisioned the future with the Triton No. 1, an experimental pizza-delivery vehicle. Unfortunately, a quarter century later, we still have pot holes. So this particular future went straight to a museum in South Dakota.
To save on gas? Bicycle delivery. To save on laundry? Well, maybe not every day but, as a promotion to launch its new bike delivery service, the Olé Restaurant Group of Boston had delivery bikers clad only in underwear surprise some major lifestyle publications with free lunch.
In the ‘squeaky wheel gets the grease’ category: Domino’s in the Netherlands delivers with scooters that call out in a man’s voice, “Domino’s” and “Pizza”. But the town crier advertising effect is a by-product; the primary purpose is safety as the voice alerts drivers and pedestrians to the normally quiet scooter.
Traffic may be bumper to bumper and a parking space more rare than diamonds but, set the table, dinner’s cutting through the park on a Segway. The eco-friendly, sidewalk friendly, single person vehicle has found its niche in urban restaurant delivery.
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays the Roving Mammoth Burritos’ Cat from bringing the heat to the slopes. Hungry skiers and boarders don’t need to head back to the lodge as this tank-like take on the food truck, will come to them.
“Mommy, what’s that buffalo doing on that car?” “Advertising, dear.”
Catchy paintjobs get attention but car sculpture, and cars that are sculpture, grab attention and don’t let it go. More than worth the investment, a car with a moose on the roof or a car shaped like a wedge of cheese will be followed by eyes everywhere it goes.
Your restaurant sits where it is. But your delivery vehicle goes all over town, telling everyone who sees it who you are and what you stand for. Let your deliveries announce that you are a responsible company that cares about the world. Pizza Fusion’s “Fresh, natural, Earth-friendly” slogan on the side panel of their car or energy efficient, low emission Gbikes are great examples of restaurants taking ownership of an issue and proclaiming their place in their communities.
If you are driving through Orlando, Florida, and you see a cop in your rear view mirror, pull over: he might have a pizza for you. The NYPD Pizzeria delivers in cars styled to resemble New York police cars of decades past. And, of course, no one is surprised to find old New York in Florida.
In restaurant promotion, anything can be a contest including unique designs for delivery vehicles. Recently, in a cross-promotion between Dominos and Local Motors, the world was invited to create the next generation pizza car. With $50,000 in prizes, the 5 stage contest produced cutting edge, sci-fi inspired concepts from consumers and drew participants and collaborative efforts from around the globe.
How about you? Have you seen any amazing branded restaurant delivery vehicles you think should have made this list? Please tell us via Facebook – we would love to get a bigger collection of cool ideas together with your help. If each person reading this sent in just one idea/example, imagine how much more inspiration others could draw from this. Can’t wait to hear from you!
Oh, and of course, if you’d rather just CREATE one that makes the list (and draws national publicity for your restaurant chain), let us know that too. Our specialty is dreaming big and swinging for the fences with clients who share the same commitment to restaurant marketing that’s “different” and not “just better.”
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