Fancy wrap vs. simple vinyl: FIGHT!

There are two schools of though on vehicle advertising:
#1 ) invest in a full, detailed wrap of your vehicle/trailer
Pros: -it’s visually striking
-it can be memorable if done well
-it gives off the appearance of a successful business
- can be effective at establishing a recognizable brand

   Cons: -usually very expensive
            -if done poorly or off message, can result in buyer's remorse (see above)
            -can be too "busy", thereby muddling the marketing message (all sizzle, no steak)
            -can be difficult for viewers to extract meaningful info from (see above)
            - can be a deterrent to establishing a recognizable brand

#2) invest in simple, straightforward vinyl
pros: -less expensive than alternatives
- the message is clear and easily understood
-if done well, can assist in establishing a clearly recognizable brand
- can give off a utilitarian “getting things done” impression (no sizzle, just steak)

 cons:  - can be dull and forgettable
           - may give off a "poor man's business" impression 
           - can hinder the building of a local brand if it doesn't stand out 

so, what are your thoughts? i’m curious to see what my colleagues think about this topic. better yet, ask your wives, friends and customers what they think. that’s REAL data.

me personally? i’m not sold on the ROI of the expensive, fancy wrap. sure, i a good wrap can grab more attention. but i don’t believe it will generate a response rate that is roughly 4:1 greater than a well done, focused simple vinyl job will do. so to me it’s all about ROI, not turning heads. but, as always, there is room for dissenting opinions here. so i welcome them.

maybe what we really need is a carpet cleaning guru to set us straight on this topic…

Okay yeah… Is there an in between? I think so… Why do you need to go crazy wild? If you got a good LOGO the rest follows. Personally, I feel like a good logo goes way farther than a wrap or just a plain old dumb magnetic graphic… Okay guys, yeah, up your game… I see these logos around here… No offense, really , but many need improvement… Who’s got the best logo? Your logo is your brand. Do you like Fruit Loops or Fruity Loops? I choose to RUN my brand. It’s working well… So back to the question of simple versus complex… Chose wisely, choose in between…

What’s wrong with you?!?
You’re doing it all wrong… :rolleyes:

But for me, I’m not so much looking for attention.
More to simple answer the neighbors question “who is that?”

  • “Oh, the Jones’ are getting their windows cleaned.”

I feel the odds are better of a call from a ‘line of sight’ neighbor,
than some dude passing me on the road.

So maybe that puts me out of the discussion,
because I really don’t focus on/expect “driving around town” calls.

1 Like

^ no sir, you are firmly entrenched IN the DISCUSSION. you have taken a side (my side, coincidentally. congratulations.) prepare to defend your position.

You pulled me back IN!

I’m wrestling with this RIGHT NOW. As I type this I’m trying to decide between a full wrap, partial wrap, or just say screw it and throw some vinyl on.

I painted our Santa Fe “punch you in the face” red. Red is one of the most powerful colors and everyone notices it.

However, the marketing guru I’m working with (who is also my perfect target demographic) created me a nice blue logo. It’s one of those logos that when I showed it to my wife she’s like “Oh! That’s nice!” so that tells me the logo speaks to the female mind and I’m leaning towards a full wrap in order to switch back to blue (my original color).

The other option is to do a partial wrap which would make the car 50% blue… I’m not sure I like that so much.

The only problem is that I haven’t seen any wraps that I really want to copy. I’ll probably pay someone to design me something but I’d like to have at least a general idea.

If I’m going to switch from red to blue I need to do it now before I start hiring and I’ve got to redo my marketing materials so it’s a good time to debate this.

Eventually I want a fleet of transits on the road so whatever I come up with needs to have flexibility.

My thoughts/feelings on this is that vinyl is a LOT better than a magnet. It shows that you’re not fly by night but that you have a dedicated vehicle.

But the more wraps I see, it seems like a wrap is a step up from good vinyl. It speaks of a corporation and might make you seem bigger and more professional.

I hope this thread makes up my mind for me cuz I need to get this going!

Listen to your wife… She may kill you if it isn’t to her satisfaction… Believe me, I KNOW…

Okay to be honest, if you want to do a wrap… Find a guy that knows what he’s doing otherwise it will turn out to SHIT., these guys are hard to come buy… Yeah I want a wrap but I don’t want to have to tell the guy what to do… Key one. If you need to tell him what to do… Forget about it, he’s lost. Make sure the guy tells you what to do… If you got a guy telling you what to do in the wrap business you got a winner…

But I’m guessing you OTHER marketing is localized.
Why worry about what makes you look “bigger” NOW?!?

I’m guessing we are all solidified in our businesses it really doesn’t matter either way. But, hey, we still like to know who’s on top…

Humm, I guess the intent is “bigger” = “more reliable/professional/feel good”

I don’t ever intend to be the “biggest” company, I just want my vehicles to imply that I’m “the best.” No, a good wrap won’t make someone “the best” but I just consider it part of the package: the best (looking) vehicle, the best equipment, the best techs, the happiest customers etc.

There’s a franchise that has great looking vans, but everyone criticizes them as doing crap work. I intend to have great vehicles and great work.

Edit: I’m still building my brand and this could be a big part of it.

magnetics are for flexibility - some jobs/cities are best done unlabeled, whether for security, anonymity, customer request, or subcontract request. also good for a vehicle that is dual purpose personal/business

there are maintenance issues - vinyl when selling the vehicle will have a shadow of the letters/shapes in the paint when removed that do not go away

some that have wraps for a couple years find the wrap doesn’t weather too well over time, peeling, fading, etc. Gee, that’s a drag for a $5,000+ wrap!

I have used full color graphics and stripes and found after 3 years the pictures start to fade, blister and can ‘rot’ under the top clear coat
a sign guy mentioned it’s like an ink jet on vinyl and the durability is only as good as the ink which is whatever micron thick, which aint much

in the end, it’s part of one’s whole marketing plan how the truck is presented and will depend on target market etc, no one answer fits all

someone posted some company awhile back that had some impressive wraps that were part of the whole brand presentation (think franchise branding set up) I thought it showed how good a wrap could be. many are too busy and not done well from the start marketing wise, kind of do it yourself graphics arts look

cost is a consideration esp if multiple trucks too. 5k wraps across a few trucks starts to get way out there very quick

a lot to think about for something that one would think could be very simple, but so many options and marketing aspects involved really turn it into a brain teaser

1 Like

Good wrap guys are hard to come by… There’s ONE guy around here doing good wraps but I talked to him and he said it runs 2g’s

I totally understand, I’m indifferent.

It’s just interesting that we find ourselves jumping up and down, waiving our hands at how “local” we are.
Only to find ourselves trying to push the all encompassing/broader scope.

Like I said, I don’t much care, and I’ll probably vacillate as this thread grows…

A little advise… You guys know this right? Don’t run a mangent. It’ll bust up the paint on your rig… Vinyl’s the way to go…

I think wraps although look cool are a net loser they aren’t making any extra money then nice clean vinyl

But hey, if our van looks like a million bucks and our work looks like ten dollars… What’s best, a hell of a nice truck or hellish nice work… Again, I’m a fan of in between…

Just one last word from me, I get a good amount of work from the vinyl lettering on my truck… It’s worth the investment…

We have 3 vehicles, hopefully soon a 4th. I started and still have a Chevy Silverado pick up fully wrapped that I drive, I have my old small Hyundai Accent coupe that we use for running errands, estimates, the girls take it lunch, fully wrapped. And a Ford Van with my magnetic signage on the doors. One of the factors I wrapped the car and truck because they were starting to show their age of the hood, and roofs. We were assured that we would get 7-10 years out of the wrap on horizontal surfaces. May need to re-wrap the hood and roof in 3-5 years. Since I did both car at the same time he cut me a deal of $6000.

Most of my customers didn’t ever notice we had the cars lettered, but did like it when it was done. When we run an estimate and do our initial sales presentation. The wrapped car does seem to attract higher clientele. And since we park on the road, most driveway are short, the cars are highly visible to the neighbors, and anybody walking down the street. The unmarked van people seem to think we are plumbers.

We track how new residential customers found us. Less than 1.5% call because of the truck marketing. 19% of all the new customers have seen or at least thought they have seen the truck around somewhere. Over the last three years almost 75% of all our customers have said they have seen our vehicles around between appointments. And 8% of those 75% said it reminded them to call and schedule an appointment.

So almost real numbers, I rounded them off to make OUR math easier to follow. We have a core customer base just over 1000. 75% of 1000 is 750, 8% of 750 is 60. So 60 current customers call because they see the truck. Our median ticket is $200. $20060=$12000 year.
1% of 1000 is 10 new customers. $200

Is it worth it, hard to say, it was $2000 more than what I would have had. And I would like to believe that those 60 others would have scheduled if we would have contacted them anyway. But they called us first.

Most of our “steak” comes from the pre-sale, estimate, and the post sale. Not the cars.

Colors seem to play a big role in branding. Our colors are pretty bland blues, grays, black and white, with hints of orange sprinkled in. The people at the wrap shop researched and found vehicle wrapped in Red/White and Red/Blue/White were 40% more memorable. Followed by Green/Yellow/White at 35% and Orange/Yellow/Blue at 31% more memorable.

If you are trying to create brand awareness, I don’t know. Personally if I could get 0.25% market share in Phoenix of 4.3 million I would be extremely happy, consider it a success and a rich man, but I don’t think I would have brand awareness. And if I wanted top of mind awareness to my current clients I would probably spend the money on sending more postcards, or a newsletter. I would just letter the cars to have some presence out there.

Maybe some else has better numbers over a longer period.

Overall, I am happy with the decision to wrap the truck and sales car. If I could do it over again I would wrap the van instead of the truck.

Good Luck Team let me know how it turns out.

1 Like

Should be no big deal for you