Truckfitters. Is that even a real word? No. No, it is not. Since 2012 the Truckfitters company has been known as Ranch Hand Truckfitters – a fully owned subsidiary of Ranch Hand. The freestanding stores sell both Ranch Hand products and a plethora of other truck accessories from a variety of brands. Because Ranch Hand Truckfitters was the #1 distributor of Ranch Hand products, customers were regularly confusing the brands.
“Was Ranch Hand a product or a store?”
“Was Ranch Hand one brand or two?”
“Where did Truckfitters come from?”
“Does Truckfitters only sell Ranch Hand products?”
“Oh, I get it … Ranch Hand Truckfitters is simply an alter ego of Ranch Hand – it all makes sense now.” (Not.)
There was a lot going on in the logo below …
The executive team of Kaspar Companies and VP of Marketing for Ranch Hand, Jerry Courtney, wanted to give Truckfitters a unique brand that attracted both the restyling segment of truck lovers and the commercial/fleet market. The in house advertising agency for Kaspar Companies, Espresso, set out to clear the muddy waters – separating these “joined at the hip” brands and giving them their own unique voices. The goal was to create a brand that attracted both loyal Ranch Hand consumers and new customers to the Truckfitters stores.
“When looking for an icon to represent the Truckfitters brand, we wrestled with a few ideas such as wrenches, tires and tools to give it a ‘shop type feel.’ Most of what we came up with was cheesy and ‘expected.’ So we ended up focusing on a more mature direction. We wanted to try to do something clever within the logo type putting more focus on the company name rather than an icon.” said Chris Kaspar, Espresso President.
Espresso’s team of designers worked through a variety of fonts trying to capture the truck shop feel. They contemplated inline fonts that looked like roads, a curvy text making an F resemble a wrench, and matched the script font used on a shop shirt patch. These versions were a good start but didn’t quite get there. The team finally agreed on a bold, condensed font category that captured the Truckfitters attitude – tipping our hats to the transportation theme of the brand by separating the tops of the Ts to create road stripes and provide a pop of color.
When asked about whether or not he thought about changing the Truckfitters name, Jerry Courtney said, “I love the name Truckfitters. The advantage for us is that it’s not a real word. That means we get to define it for our audiences. The upside is that it speaks to the majority of people we’re trying to reach – they have a good sense for what it means to Upfit Your Truck.” Although the team decided to stick with the name, Truckfitters, the greatest challenge in the re-branding process was the length of the name. Some of the concepts looked like a really long string of letters placed on a sign. Readability can be tough with such long words. The Espresso designers worked hard to find a font that represented the brand but didn’t take up too much room. With no luck, the team decided to customize their own font in order to fulfill their vision. The result was fitting (at least, we think so).
Creating a tagline can be a real challenge. We wanted phraseology that was both creative and offered an accurate description of the services we offer. Upfit is a word that exists in the world of truck lovers, but you won’t find it in Merriam Webster’s Dictionary. Considering Truckfitters isn’t a real word, we decided that using this (not real) key word in our new tagline, Upfit Your Truck, was a perfect representation of both creativity and accuracy. By branding terminology like Truckfitters and Upfit, we created a lingo distinctive to the Truckfitters brand that helped literally communicate what we do.
Our five Texas stores have undergone the rebranding process which started in August 2016 – clearing up the confusion as to who Truckfitters is and what we do.