Rolling Brand Ambassadors: RFRK featured in The Globe and Mail

Real Food for Real Kids - The Globe And Mail - Mercedes Ad - October 19, 2016

Real Food for Real Kids does two things REALLY well…

Cooking nutritious and tasty meals every day and punctually delivering all of our food in time to eat!

These super reliable, energy efficient Mercedes-Benz vans help us keep real food affordable for kids across the GTA! Check out this Globe and Mail article on why the Mercedes BlueTEC Diesel Sprinters are our first choice of fleet vehicles.

If you see us on the roads, be sure to give us a wave!

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Real Food for Real Kids needed to turn fleet into rolling brand ambassadors

Lulu Cohen-Farnell and her family celebrate the success of her company that caters nutritious food to more than 15,000 children across the GTA. When Lulu Cohen-Farnell made the decision to meticulously brand her fleet of delivery vans, the founder of Toronto’s Real Food for Real Kids had one goal in mind: conveying a clear message about her company’s core values.

“People might look at this in a strategic way and say we’re con­sistent in branding our vans, our aprons, our lunches,” she explains. “But it’s more about bringing the values out and making sure that we’re always seen as having a focus on quality.”

For a company that caters nutri­tious food to more than 15,000 children at schools and daycares across the Greater Toronto Area daily, conveying a sense of reli­ability and credibility was crucial. So, too, was ensuring that brand­ing was consistent on all vehicles, that they were well maintained and reflected the company’s focus on sustainability.

Growing a brand with a focus on promoting and catering to the nutritional health of children would be made easier by estab­lishing an impressive presence in the community. One of the most important platforms: the company’s 20 delivery vehicles that, along with the food catered to their kids, are many parents’ only direct daily contact with the company.

As such, Ms. Cohen-Farnell’s goal was to turn her vans into rolling brand ambassadors. That was the reason behind her recent decision to replace Real Food for Real Kids’ delivery fleet with Mercedes-Benz vans pow­ered by the German automaker’s ultra-efficient engines. After doing her due diligence, Ms. Cohen­-Farnell realized the vehicles would actually save her company money in fuel and maintenance costs over the long term.

“We did our research and found that the Mercedes-Benz vans helped us in our mission to deliver affordable food,” she explains. And for good reason: Real Food for Real Kids keeps food costs to just $4.89 per day, per daycare-aged child.

“If you know (about fleets), you’d say, ‘Wow, they’re using effi­cient, high-quality vehicles.’ If we were using crappy vehicles, that wouldn’t fly.”

Real Food for Real Kids isn’t alone in its effort to promote vehicle branding consistency and quality. Now, more than ever before, orga­nizations of all sizes understand that brand equity can make or break bottom-line performance ­especially for companies that pro­mote a deep-seated belief in ideals such as environmental sustainabil­ity and whole food eating…

“There’s nothing more important than consistency and clarity in branding,” says Rob Barnett, man­aging director of Vancouver-based agency Stray Dog Branding.

“Otherwise you’re confusing your audience.”

That’s why Mr. Barnett advises clients to take a minimalist approach with vehicle branding, particularly because messages need to be conveyed in seconds when a van is in motion. Whether it’s a tagline, slogan or art work, he feels that companies need to invest in branding that will be uniquely identifiable over time, and have the potential to communicate a unique selling proposition in mere seconds.

In the case of Real Food for Real Kids, the company opted for a kid-friendly primary blue colour palette with green accents for its vans, along with simple fonts for easy readability.

Of course, they’re not the only companies achieving success with vehicle branding.

Adam Maclean, associate cre­ative director with Toronto branding agency Jacknife, points to Red Bull as a leader in the space. The energy drink maker is well known for equip­ping its street teams-which hand out cans of Red Bull in targeted neighbourhoods-with branded vehicles replete with a gigantic can mounted in the trunk area.

But he stresses that the main reason that Red Bull earned marketing accolades with their very loud vehicles was because the approach made sense for their high-octane brand.

This content was produced by The Globe and Mail’s Globe Edge Content Studio, in consultation with an adver­tiser. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.