In my articles How To Create A Taxi Business Plan That Will Work For You and Taxi Business Marketing 101 I categorically discourage taxi business owners from doing image advertising.
Image advertising is advertising created by most of the big companies. It’s all these huge flashy signs with the name of the company in big letters with all these slogans and stuff. Many guys in the taxi business start copying that. That is why if look at the ads for taxi companies you’ll frequently see the taxi company’s name, a picture of a car, a big logo or something like that.
Is it smart to have all that in your taxi company ad? Next time you see one of these big huge ads by a big company, ask yourself a question: what’s their agenda for having these ads? And let me tell you, there can be a lot on their agenda. One of their agendas can be to please their board of directors, most of whom have no clue about advertising. Agenda number two can be to please company stockholders, so that when the stockholders see the ads, they’ll think that the company is doing well because it has all these ads around. The next possible agenda for big company’s ads can be to win awards for advertising and in this way create some publicity. And it’s not that I’m against publicity. It is just that there are easier and cheaper ways to get publicity. An agenda to actually sell something is the rarest thing for a bid company.
That is why what you should be doing is direct-response advertising, advertising that is profit-oriented and that produces quick and measurable results.
Yet, to every rule there are exceptions. The one that I want to tell you about here is by TD Bank. In my Taxi Business Success System I give an example of their coin counting machine. With their coin counting machine they have taken a routine errand of coin exchange and turned it into a fun, pleasant experience. Another very smart thing that the bank does is giving away free pens. With their logo on them, of course.
Come to any other bank and you’ll have one pen that often doesn’t even write and that is attached to the table with a rope. Not to forget to mention that most of these pens are on the right side of the table. Being a lefty I can tell you that it’s very inconvenient to write with such a pen with the left hand.
What about TD Bank? Everywhere they have slips that need to be filled, there’s always a bin with a whole bunch of pens in it. Write with your left hand, write with your right hand, no inconvenient attached to the desk pens. Pens are free to take with you. Now that’s smart brand building. Every time one writes with such a pen, they see the TD Bank logo.
That’s one of the things you should be doing, too. Instead of sending your customers generic Christmas gifts, send them some pens with your logo on them. Send them a wall calendar. Again, with your logo. A coffee mug. A t-shirt. A mousepad. There’s a big difference between having an ad with your logo in a newspaper and having a customer using a mousepad with your logo. There are hundreds of ads in the newspapers and you can’t even be sure that your ad is being seen by the newspapers’ readers. If, however, it’s stuff to use in everyday life, chances of it being used and of your company’s name and logo being looked at every day are very high, which makes sending all this stuff to your customers quite a smart thing to do.