I Changed By Not Changing At All
It’s funny (in life and in business) how some things change so frequently and with such rapidness while others are timeless and remain unchanged and unaltered for decades, even centuries. I recently got to thinking about this when we added the latest box truck to our expanding fleet.
What has physically changed? What has culturally and symbolically changed? What has improved and what has been lost (and perhaps provided setbacks of sorts)?
Well, it’s pretty obvious from the imagery. Technology and safety has improved leaps and bounds since our first box truck was put into our fleet back in 2001. The lights have become brighter (providing added visibility), the seats have been ergonomically improved (providing less backache), the MPG’s have increased (reducing fuel costs). All good stuff. And even better, our fleet today is equipped with crew cabs, GPS mapping and tracking and Bluetooth hands-free technology that provides added efficiencies that we never had the opportunity to experience before. Awesome, right?! The keyboard warriors of the world think so! But for our foreman that have a parking lot to open by the weekend (and it’s Friday at noon) and your boss is blowing up your phone with calls, emails with layout revisions, Facetime chats so they view the site issue the engineer told them in the office about and texts from suppliers about deliveries, it can be enough for them to want to drive that beautiful new truck with state of the art safety features right off the road sometimes.
We no longer have to experience the guessing game of where is our equipment or where is our crew. We can locate them or call them in milliseconds, which is something that we could not effectively do back in 2001. Cell phones were just becoming a common tool around that time (replacing pagers, walkie-talkies and sometimes nothing at all) that really changed the game forever – opening up real time communication to the world of construction that long operated on the premise of you only know about it if you see it in the flesh. It’s frightening to think back to a time when we would only find out information 8 hours after it has occurred (and that is if we were lucky and the guys remembered to share it with us).
Our trucks were plain and contained modest artwork that portrayed the industry of unit paving in its infancy. The use of websites in this era was simply unheard of and unseen. Plastered on our small fleet was rudimentary but easy to interpret imagery showing serpentine paver walkways with bullet edgers were accompanied by oversized bold phone numbers and keywords. We wanted our trucks to be mobile billboards of advertising for us while simultaneously carrying our most precious cargo; our beloved installers. And while the images being presented on our fleet have become more clean and modern and polished, the intent has remained the same. Present imagery that allows your customer (or potential customers) to easily identify what it is that you do and the message you are trying to convey. This, in its simplest form, is the basics of marketing.
Now our trucks boast our most recent corporate and cultural campaign, me – The Brick Chick! Something (or someone) that has always been there, but was not an obvious part of our advertising and marketing presentation at the onset of our business when projecting our services and name were our only focused marketing missions. Now, promoting female business ownership, women in construction and demonstrating to our clients and friends that anyone, at any time period or age, can defy odds, challenge norms and destroy stereotypes are among our top messages to convey. Sometimes, the more things change, the more they really do stay the same.