Case Study: Branding Plunket's Vehicle Fleet
Since their early beginning over 100 years ago in Dunedin, Plunket has grown to become a household name many people have come to know and trust. Starting in 1907 by founder Sir Frederic King his vision was clear; to help mothers and save babies who were dying from malnutrition and disease.
Fast-forward to today and Plunket has developed well beyond those early intentions and is now the largest organisation in New Zealand who care for young families and offer education and support services for new mothers. They have become a reputable national organisation and fair to say a name that’s trusted, which is appropriate since this is one of their core organisations values.
Plunket reports they see more than 90% of newborns across the country each year, and when there’s over 60,000 live births reported in year ending March 2012 (Statistics New Zealand) this is a staggering amount of travel for the nurses and volunteers, especially in regional areas. Plunket have a large fleet of vehicles across the country equipping nurses to do support visits.
Plunket and their principal sponsor were particular about their signage supplier as they were entrusting a very important asset they have, their brand! Any signage company can slap a logo on a car, instead they wanted a company that was involved, would care for their reputable brand, and offer a single liaison for the national rebrand rollout and ongoing branding work.
In a discussion with Bruce Hopkins, Speedy Signs Franchise Owner, he explains how through collaboration the Speedy Signs team was able to partner with Plunket and offer a tailored solution that all parties were pleased with.
“Plunket had some specific criteria they wanted from their signage company, and we were able to work with them. We also work with other national brands and understand the importance of delivering brand consistency, adding to their confidence in our abilities. We listen to, and work closely with our clients and provide solutions to their signage needs” says Hopkins.
Through the collaboration process various expectations were identified and Speedy Signs were able to supply fitting solutions to achieve great outcomes.
Early on in Speedy Signs’ contract with Plunket they required a national overhaul of their vehicle graphics, which is no small task. Speedy Signs was able to deliver on time and to budget which was well received by Plunket.
“Being a national network of sign-writers gives us the ability to effectively coordinate national rebrand roll-outs in a reasonable time-frame. When we first received Plunket’s sign-writing contract almost five years ago they required their fleet of close to 500 to be rebranded within 90 days because they had a change in principal sponsor, and we delivered on that” says Hopkins.
“These are large projects and involve a substantial amount of national coordination with other Speedy Signs stores. Plunket was pleased with how smooth the whole process was which was naturally pleasing to hear”.
Organisations work hard to build a credible brand and it’s important that there’s no compromise on quality for national accounts. Entrusting a signage company with your brand is a big decision as brands take many years of maintained and reputable service to cultivate. Plunket and their principal sponsor shared these expectations, and rightly so. The recommendation was a combination of vinyl cut lettering and digital prints as this guaranteed national consistency.
“We were able to ensure their signage and brand was consistent nationwide as we offer a central printing point and then a local installation through the Speedy Signs network” says Hopkins. “While there’s been frequent reviews we’ve always managed to retain the contract as we offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ style signage consultation package.”
While the majority of production and application is done in Auckland, there can be a bit of time involved with coordinating graphic application in other regions. Plunket wanted one contact who they could deal with and they can project manage to ensure everything is done right.
“We understand the frustration clients have when they are passed from one department to the next, or even between stores, so for all our national clients we ensure they have a single contact person who is conversant with their project and ensures their expectations are exceeded” say Hopkins.
While a majority of the work is on their Toyota Hatches, Plunket occasionally required us to work on other projects and vehicles such as vans and trucks, which the in-house design and productions teams can offer.
“The design solution resulted in a combination of vinyl lettering for the text and logo and digital prints for the images as it’s adaptable for other applications” says Hopkins. “We also implemented a vehicle magnetic solution for the remote areas that nurses could apply themselves until their cars came up for renewal.”
The arrangement between Plunket and their lease company means any new vehicles almost come directly off the boat and into the warehouse to be sign-written, before being delivered to the nurse.
“The whole process is very efficient and it’s great to be able to say we’ve been able to meet their [Plunket’s] requirements for the past few years, and it seems that all parties are happy with the arrangement loyally continuing” explains Hopkins.
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