19 Jul 2021

Branding for your food truck business


Wearing different hats as a business owner

Being a food truck owner means you have to wear many different hats! One of the roles you need to deeply think about is how you will market your food truck business and create a brand identity that will attract your target market.

Why is brand identity so important?

Having a solid brand identity will help you stand out from the crowd and imbed itself into the memory of your customers! Your goal as a business owner is to get your trailer recognised by passers-by and establish brand loyalty that will sustain your profitability in the long run. 

So how do you go about this complex project? How do you create a strong brand identity? Well, there are a few steps involved in this process which we will outline below. At the end of this article you will also be able to download our free guide that will help.

Having a mission

You need to ask yourself, what is the mission for my business? It’s about the impact your venture will have on the world around you. A good mission for a food business could be to contribute to customer’s well-being by providing healthy and nutritious foods. Another good example of a mission could be to introduce customers to cuisines from other sides of the world and educating customers about its origins. People engage more with brands that make a positive impact and have a genuine reason for existing. Also you can count on better engagement on social media when your business supports important social causes. Your story is an important part of your brand.

This part should be really intuitive for you as every entrepreneur already subconsciously knows what they are about. The worksheet provided at the end of this post will help you answer important questions regarding your mission. 

Know your target audience

This one is EXTREMELY important! Do you cater for gym-goers, vegans, children or the older generation? Will you be an all-rounder and brand yourself as a family truck? You should think about this deeply to make wise menu decisions and establish your tone of voice.

Implementing thorough research about your chosen location and its community would give you relevant information about your target market. Establishing how much money your market can comfortably spend will also help to decide whether you will choose to position yourself as a casual trailer or go more gourmet and luxurious. If you’re lucky enough to have secured a location where wealthy people frequent you should definitely take this to your advantage!

Choosing your typefaces and colours

When you establish your mission and your target audience you can move on to the visual aspect for your brand. The idea behind this is to choose typefaces and colours that will represent the character of your brand. For example, if your customer base are retired locals you can go for a more classic look. Choose an elegant serif typeface and toned down shades and neutral colours. If you will be targeting children your choice of colours and typefaces will change. You will go for more vibrant colours and a less serious typeface.

 In this section you will be going through colour theory, specifically their meaning and what kind of emotions they evoke. You should spend a good amount of time on this section as changing colours down the line may confuse your customers. The worksheet provided at the end of this article includes a list of colours with emotions they evoke so you can circle the ones you think best represent your project.

Your tone of voice

This too will be dictated by your target audience. If you’re speaking to elders try to be a little bit more formal. When speaking to teenagers use a more casual language and incorporate some lingo. The tone of voice should be kept consistent across your platforms and website.

You can also come up with some phrases that you will reuse in your marketing collateral. You should notice this down and use as a reference when creating your content for social media, website and other marketing materials.

Food and truck photography

Great images are what sell food and make people’s mouths water! How are you going to deliver high quality images to your website and social media accounts? You can consider hiring a food photographer or learning this skill yourself.. Nowadays phone cameras take high quality images but if you want to stand out from your competition investing in a DSLR camera to up your game is worth considering. You can get a second hand full-frame camera for only a few hundred that will upgrade your images to the next level! A 50mm prime lens would be ideal as it gives you a natural perspective for your food images, also you can get it at low cost. It may also be a good idea to convey your brand as a business that limits it’s food waste and recycles which will attract the more younger and eco/green conscious customer. 

If you decide to go with the DIY route, make sure the style of photos you choose matches the overall tone of your brand whether you’re going for a bright or more dramatic look. You can decide if you will use any filters for your brand. Just make sure your food images don’t turn too green or blue as this will make your food shots look unappetising. For your website photos make sure you shoot your food in daylight, on a more cloudy day for beautifully diffused light. Shooting in harsh sunlight will create unflattering harsh shadows and highlights. You can purchase simple backgrounds dedicated to food photography on Amazon or another platform. There is a lot to choose from: you can get elegant marble-like backgrounds, wooden, table-like drops or plain, pastel coloured ones! 

Try to shoot the images from the same perspective to keep the site looking uniform. You can achieve a gorgeous blurry background that will make your food the main focus of the capture by setting your aperture as low as F3.5 or lower for a more dramatic effect. Make sure you hold your camera steady or simply use a tripod. If you’re not too confident with focusing, stick with higher f-stops to allow for a deeper depth of field. Social media photos on the other hand can be more spontaneous and not as styled to show the authenticity of your brand and behind the scenes. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and get creative! 

Our Worksheet

We created a branding worksheet you can download for free to help you through the process of establishing your brand identity. It will help you gather your thoughts and ideas into one place. You can also access our guide on ‘How to start your food truck business’ if you are still in the early stages of launching your own business.

Download our free worksheet that will help you with your brand development!


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