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Let’s Talk Shop: Target Markets for Wraps

Bail bonds, furniture, coconut juice, flooring, coffee, batteries and minor league baseball are just a few of the things we have advertised through vehicle wraps. The market for wraps is wide open and benefits businesses of all sizes. 

When marketing wraps, it’s important to determine the types of wraps you want to do or what types your geographical area would best support. Then develop a marketing plan to target specific industries and specific types of wraps.

Delivery trucks are a good target market for the wine industry in our area.

LOCAL INDUSTRY

Often your local industry will help determine the types of wraps your company will produce. For example, box truck wraps for distribution companies in an industrial area, golf cart wraps for cities with a lot of golf courses and airplane graphics when there is a nearby airport.

We live in a medium-sized city with two large wineries nearby as well as many agricultural and food processing plants. Another large city about a half hour from us has deep water channels that support shipping and recreational boating, which produces a larger market for boat wraps.

Hockey helmet wraps are a unique but profitable service for a local hockey rink.

One of our fleet accounts comes from one of the local wineries. Over the years we’ve wrapped their entire fleet of box trucks three different times. These trucks deliver wine to their distributors while advertising different brands of wine.

Pinpointing specific industries in our vicinity gives us ideas on marketing these companies and building more work in these areas. Over the years we’ve streamlined the process of removing graphics and wrapping box vans, so it makes good sense to pursue these types of wraps since we can capitalize on our experience.

Marketing larger businesses in our area is important, but a vast majority of our wrap work comes from small companies in our city. Customers that spend a couple thousand dollars to wrap one vehicle will expect a good return on their investment. Streamlining the quoting process, stepping up customer service and working within the customer’s budget are very important for these types of wraps.

WRAP TYPES

The same printer, laminator and computer setup can produce many types of wraps. While vehicles are most common, there are other types of wraps that we can incorporate into our list of services. Sometimes a list of wrap types will help spark some ideas:

• Cars
• Box Trucks
• SUVs
• Airplanes and helicopters
• Motorcycles and scooters
• Pickup trucks
• Boats
• RVs
• Buses
• Commercial vans
• Trailers
• Ambulances
• Fleet branding
• Windows—automotive and commercial buildings
• Reflective wraps
• Golf carts
• Elevators and doors
• Wall wraps
• Building wraps
• ATM machines
• Kiosks and photo booths

The creation of other signs and graphics led to the wrapping of office and locker room windows.

There are many different materials on the market that allow us to wrap virtually anything. While your company may create more of one type of wrap than another, based on your local industry, you can also advertise the other services using the same knowledge and equipment you already have.

Building wraps, boat wraps and wraps on specialized materials or surfaces will require additional training. Be sure to check product specs and manufacturer recommendations before offering a new type of wrap. Once you have this knowledge, though, continue marketing that type of wrap to other industries to make money from your knowledge.

Small fleet ads have led to larger partial wraps for our local city buses.

MARKETING PLAN

We’ve all heard the statistics about how vehicle wraps are the fastest growing form of advertising in the United States and how cost effective vehicle wraps are in comparison to other advertising options.

Figuring out how to make our potential customers aware of this information without feeling like we’re just spouting a bunch of statistics is the tricky part. Most customers are familiar with wraps by now. Many also know, to some extent, that wraps offer a good return on your investment.

Whether you’re marketing specific target markets, or marketing area businesses as a whole, there are many ways to get your information across. Creating a marketing plan ahead of time helps you to determine your target audience, investigate marketing options, create an advertising budget and plan your implementation.

Local small businesses are an important market for vehicle wraps. (Photos courtesy of Paradise Graphix)

MARKETING OPTIONS

We already talked about defining your target audience and how your market is often determined by local industry, as well as local small-to-medium-sized businesses. The next step is creating a list of marketing options, and determining the most effective solution(s).

Often existing customers are your best market for future wrap work. Doing scoreboard signage and rink advertising for a local roller hockey league has led to the wrapping of hockey helmets and the company’s office and locker room windows.

Stickers for a local bait and tackle shop led to the wrap of the customer’s fishing boat and the wrapping of an equipment locker. The smaller ads for our local fleet of city buses have now grown into partial wraps. By advertising your wrap services through your print materials and lobby, an existing sign customer may become a wrap customer as well.

An outside sales rep for your company allows the potential customer to connect with your company on a more personal level. Often the best sales rep is the owner of the company, sometimes it is an individual with a background in sales. 

No matter who is doing sales calls for your company, be sure they are thoroughly familiar with the wrap process, as well as has an understanding of effective wrap design. Not that the sales rep will be doing the design, but rather the customer should feel from the beginning that they have a company that understands their advertising needs and knows how to make it happen.

Market local car dealerships and companies that service vehicles; they often have courtesy shuttles for their customers. Fleet managers at large companies and dealerships often handle the advertising on their vehicles.

Window wraps are another service that can be marketed to existing and new customers.

One of the local manufacturing plants in our city has a fleet of trailers that they use to transport their products to other distribution points. We have marketed our printing services to this company, but they get all of their graphics from corporate and have an in-house staff that installs them. 

While this company does most of their work in-house, we’ve made them aware of our services. Because of this, they have contacted us to install graphics that their in-house installers don’t have time to do, as well as special projects involving graphics they can’t get from corporate.

Direct mail is another inexpensive way to advertise your wrap services. Getting the advertisement into the right hands is key. There are mailing services that will mail postcards to an entire zip code and there are coupon books that target homes within a certain area or above a certain household income.

These options are kind of a shot in the dark as to who they will hit. A better option with direct mail may be to create a list of companies within a specific market you want to advertise to—let’s use wineries for example.

Many wineries have a fleet of vans or box trucks that they use to deliver their product. Create a direct mail piece that specifically advertises to the wine industry. Include photos of any work you’ve done for other wineries, list the types of wraps (and other products) they may specifically benefit from, cite how they will be benefited and how they can contact you. 

Then mail the same postcard to a list of wineries within the area you’re willing to travel. After you send the first postcard, wait a few weeks and send it again. Do this for a few months as repeated exposure to your advertisement is often necessary before a potential customer will contact you.

Another good way to target wrap markets is by getting your company name and services in front of the right people. Advertise your company in local trade journals or magazines that cater to local businesses as a whole, or to a specific industry.

If you’re trying to market boat wraps, consider sponsoring a local fishing tournament. Some fishing tournaments, especially at the professional level, require that fishing boats be wrapped. Be willing to work with the sponsor of a professional angler to get their name displayed on the boat.

IMPLEMENTATION

We’ve discovered over the years that the best way for us to implement a new plan is to get passionate about what we’re trying to accomplish. We like doing wraps, we’re good at it, and we make money doing them.

Wraps are also time consuming and a little frustrating on occasion. So it’s important that we enjoy the process and the results.

Besides believing in what we’re selling, another part of following through with our marketing plan is to stay within the budget we’ve created. Printing and postage, marketing commissions and event sponsorships all cost money. Be sure you stay on budget, track your results, and duplicate what is working for you.