Food trucks have been around for a long time, and fortunately, there are many to be found around the DC/Baltimore area. We’ve all heard of them, fed on deliciousness from one of them or at least heard a friend’s story about how great the “crabcake cone” is from the Gypsy Queen food truck in Baltimore or the awesome pretzel burger from BurGorilla in DC.
The combination of great food, unique menu items and excellent design make them so appealing to us. We as street-wandering-consumers simultaneously want a fun, gourmet, low cost and quick meal. The messaging associated with these trucks is often humorous and witty, as is a truck driving from place to place slinging burgers or cones full of crab cakes and Old Bay fries.
Let’s run through some of the top marketing solutions for these trucks and what makes them such an effective product and sales model:
- Design – The trucks are often well painted and have great color schemes. Art in food and branding. I often find that the trucks don’t even have to try very hard to establish the brand. It seems to come with the format being: limited menu, a truck and mobility.
- Mobile Advertising – As in literal rolling advertising with the name being painted or adhered to the side in vinyl, you have a constant source of advertising to go with your product delivery.
- Twitter – It’s quick, easy, and free to use. There have even been apps created to integrate automatically with GPS to periodically tweet the truck location.
- Facebook – Combo with your food truck’s Twitter account and automatically post the location and menu items for your fans.
- Foodtrucksmap.com – A quick list of the trucks in your current city. Austin has a thriving food truck community, check it out.
- Food Truck Fiesta app – There are a lot of different smartphone apps for finding food trucks too.
- Local Events – Maybe an obvious way to quickly get your product on the market is to show up to local events and fairs, but Baltimore also has weekly food truck “Gatherings”.
The food truck format is an amazing example of innovation and evolution in marketing. It reminds me that branding, marketing and advertising creativity can emerge from anywhere. From small startups like a street corner hotdog stand to large brands putting out their own trucks, it has rapidly become a mainstay in our culture and one that I hope to see even more of in the coming years.