The Value of the Vehicle Wrap
It seems simple at the surface. A vehicle wrap can visually elevate the look of any car, truck, boat, ATV, you name it. But as a marketing tool, it’s much more than that. A vehicle wrap can help drive brand identity and awareness. It can scream volumes about a business … if it’s done correctly.
Vehicle wraps can yield a high ROI, but the problem is some end-users don’t always see it. It’s up to the print service provider (PSP) producing the graphics to explain that value — not always an easy task.
Simply put, a vehicle wrap is a moving billboard, and that makes it valuable. “A vehicle wrap coupled with a great design is a powerful way to brand a company in a city, state, or even country,” states Justin Pate, creator of The Wrap Institute. He points out that since a vehicle wrap works 24 hours, there’s no need to schedule a campaign or pay attention to SEO. “They work during the day when the company is doing its business and, if strategically parked overnight in a visible location, they continue to be effective.”
But all of that is nil if there isn’t a good design or proper installation. “Ensure the right amount of information is included to make an impact while not overcrowding the design with unnecessary elements,” says Jen Carney, co-owner of Carbon Wraps in Orlando, Florida. “Including the basics and contact information is a great foundation, then add tasteful artwork to draw attention and use color and design to create a unique project for the client.”
PSPs producing vehicle wraps need to remember that in most cases, they’re seen on the road and the design only has a few seconds to make an impact. “A simple, clean message is important,” states Charity Jackson, co-owner of Visual Horizons Custom Signs in Modesto, California. She takes it one step further: “To reinforce the customer’s brand, colors, fonts, images, design elements, and slogans should be consistent to their other advertising.”
Other than being a great way to advertise, a vehicle wrap also helps that business stand apart. “A good vehicle wrap with an exciting design can quickly separate a company from its competitors that don’t have vehicle wraps or those that have poor designs and/or installs,” says Pate.
Selling the ROI
The benefits of a vehicle wrap seem abundantly clear, but selling that value to the customer can be difficult. Sources encourage PSPs to start at the beginning: explain the ROI to the end-user in simple terms. “If a client is coming to you to inquire about a wrap, they already have an idea that it will provide a return on their initial investment,” Carney points out. It’s up to the print shop to grow that seed by mitigating any concerns the customer has.
“One of the hesitancies from clients is cost of services,” says Carney. “As we know, labor, skill, and experience are some of the most important and valuable aspects of offering wrap and design services … It is our job to educate our clients. In doing so, we exhibit one of the reasons why ‘you get what you pay for is all too true in our industry.” She suggests taking time to go over the various design options, needs and wants of the client, and color options among other things as concrete ways PSPs can ease cost hesitation.
Pate says that the print shop should also have before and after pictures, previous customer testimonials, and pictures and videos of the entire process to show potential clients. “I think it’s very important for a wrap shop to create an effective, interactive, and easy-to-understand presentation for customers to understand the power of vehicle wraps,” he says.
For those customers interested in vehicle wraps that are hesitant about longevity, Pate has some additional advice to share as reassurance. “Often, a vehicle wrap that is maintained well can last between two to four years,” he states. “The wrap shop should simply show the warranties the manufacturers offer for the wrap films, so the customer knows that warranty is not based on install.”
Let’s say the customer is a numbers person. There are some helpful resources for that, too. “Most of us have seen the data sheets that point out the number of impressions a wrap can expect based on the number of miles driven,” says Jackson. “This is often compared to other forms of advertising and how the cost of the advertising can be broken down by the number of impressions.”
“There have been a lot of studies done in the past few years about the effectiveness of vehicle wraps so it’s well-documented at this point,” adds Pate. “One company, called Wrapify, is using current technology to track the vehicles in real-time so clients can truly see the effectiveness, especially when there are events.”
Adjusting to Today’s Environment
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, everyone adjusted the way they did business. For some, the effects weren’t great; for others, there has been some good that has come. In the world of vehicle wraps, there have been some positive effects.
“In 2016, I gave a speech in Amsterdam about the vehicle wrap industry and projected, with information from Grand View, that it would triple in the next six years,” says Pate. “In 2019, the vehicle wrap industry was very much following this projection and COVID-19 simply accelerated it. The huge bump in growth was astounding.”
Jackson notes that the past two to three years have been the busiest ever in the shop’s 27 years. That doesn’t mean they’ve gone completely without challenges. “We adjusted the way we did business in a few areas unrelated to wraps, and we’ve had to raise our prices to accommodate rising material prices over the last year, but overall, our sales and profits have been up,” she states.
Keeping that in mind, PSPs do need to consider the challenges that today’s world presents, especially when it comes to budget. “If a customer comes to us and their budget is really tight, we’ll offer them other options besides a wrap. Usually, spot graphics with minimal info — hit the who, what, how, reach info, and nothing else,” Jackson offers.
For Pate, it’s all about options and opportunities. “I think it’s very important that a wrap shop thinks of the big picture,” he says. “Today, there are great wrap films that can be used on pretty much any surface … If a customer comes in for a vehicle wrap, they should also be sold wall, window, and floor wraps for their offices or stores. This can also be reversed. A company that wants their store rebranded should also be pushed to get their vehicles wrapped.”
In the end, offering a quality wrap, communicating with the customer, and managing and meeting expectations is all it takes to drive home the ROI of a vehicle wrap. “Listening to your clients’ needs and guiding them to a creative wrap is the objective,” Carney states. “Through client education, managing expectations, and utilizing artistic options, the client will receive a quality wrap and you will have built a relationship.”