The Professional Driver Brand

You’re probably wondering why I am talking about brand in an article for truck drivers. When most people think of brand they think of company logos or storefronts, products and services, but very few think of themselves as a brand. It’s like sales, if you ask people if they sell or like sales most will tell you they can’t sell or don’t like to sell. The fact is we all sell ourselves every day. You may be trying to get a new job and your selling yourself, you may be meeting with a client and be selling yourself, or you may be doing your job to the best of your ability and selling yourself to your company. The fact is we all sell ourselves continuously and need to be aware of the things we do and how they affect our careers. In my workshops and communications with business owners I stress the fact that their name is their brand and that logos, products, and other business items are secondary. So what does this have to do with truck drivers?

When I hold workshops for professional drivers I get two types of people in the workshop. One set is very eager to have a successful career and are new to the industry, the other have been around a while and figure their career has already been set. In the workshop my main message is that what you do throughout your career follows you where ever you go. The reason for that is that is your brand. Your name is your brand and if you think of yourself as a little business you will protect that name for all it’s worth. Your name is what people know you by and gives them the first impression as to the type of person you are. We all know how small the transportation industry is and names and facts get around. Some companies won’t care but most decent companies won’t jeopardize their record by hiring people that will tarnish their image or safety record. Your name, brand, and image are all connected which makes you either a liability or an asset, the choice is yours. The same as teenagers we don’t think the things we do earlier in life will affect us later on but we all know or find out later how untrue that is. Things have a way of following us along in our lives from one place to another even if we have forgotten about them. So how do you keep your brand in top shape?

Operate in a professional manner on the job, not matter what the job. As I tell many people in my workshops for newer drivers even if you want to change positions down the road you need keep your career in check early on. Although I know people in this situation, if you want to be the safety person for a company later in your career, having a list of accidents as a driver isn’t going to give you much credibility in that department, if you’re still working in the industry at that point. if you want to be a dispatcher having lousy time management skills won’t take you very far. Everything follows you in your career so keeping your brand clean is the best thing you can do. If your brand has been tarnished up to now then you can still make it right, correct the things that have been going wrong, learn skills and techniques that you may need to take you to the next level. Increasing your brand awareness is the best way to secure your career for the future.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant with over 30 years experience from driver to owner operator to consultant and is a columnist for many industry blogs and magazines. For more information visit www.outridgeenterprises.ca