Want to Wrap Your Vehicle? Here is what you need to know first.
We have been co-ordinating and producing wraps for over 12 years and have done literally hundreds of wraps from a toy truck to its 53’ brother. The information in this booklet will help you to know what you don’t know about what you need to know. Don’t worry. The information provided will be clearer than that. Pictures included of before, during and after, throughout, with more on website which will assist in helping you have the background knowledge that will help you decide who is the highest value resource in supporting your marketing decision.
What is the practical function of a wrapped vehicle?
It’s odd how few people actually understand this question. It seems that many people wrap a vehicle for the same reason they put a sign on a building. So they know which one is theirs. As crazy as that sounds; think about the buildings or vehicles you have passed, where you wonder; what do they do? I’d bet that the majority of the time; you will have no idea. Don’t waste your money on a wrap design (or for that matter a sign) that doesn’t work to generate awareness of what you do to a prospective client.
Therefore the answer to question one is: To provide a prospective client with an understanding of how they will benefit from knowing what you do. Period.
How do you do it with design?
A vehicle can be described as a mobile outdoor advertising mechanism. Surveys have revealed that over 16,000,000 million impressions can be generated by a truck driving the Toronto-Windsor corridor each year. That’s a LOT of door knocks, and in sales, the more knocks you make, the greater the number of prospective sales you will make. Make 100 phone calls in a week or over 300,000 wrap impressions. You can do the math. A person on the phone costing your company $20/hour ($800/week) or the less than pennies you pay for each impression given the lifespan of the wrapped vehicle. OK, sure. Numbers can say anything you want them to so let’s just keep it simple. You can generate more sales for less money with an effective wrap.
As an outdoor advertising mechanism; you need to be aware of three very important issues.
1) An outdoor visual stimulation is in competition with a lot of visual pollution. Billboards. Oncoming traffic. The view. A gal or guy walking down the street that reminds you of the teacher you had a crush on and on and on and on. You need eye candy that attracts the bumble bee to your flower.
2) The prospective client needs to understand immediately how they will benefit from knowing what you do. This can be done with a visual graphic or words but the words need to be few and say a lot. An effective tag line that paints a broad picture can be very effective. We had a client that went by the name Doctor Windshield. Their key benefit was that they would come to you. Obvious tag line: We make house calls. Client called me the morning after he picked up his wrap (which was at 7:30 the previous evening), and told me he had 4 calls by 9:00am that following morning requesting follow up.
3) You need to make it easy for them to get more information. Don’t put all your information on your vehicle. Just the sight of all that info, that they know they will never absorb while their attention is diverted by all the other visual options, will give them a reason to not make the attempt in the first place. Therefore; give them your website that has been designed to allow them to drill into why you are their best bet to support their needs.
Keep in mind, a website is generally easier to remember than a phone number. We recommend one or the other, but not both. We do put both when a client specifically wants one because the customer is always right. A phone number is also important if you are targeting older people who may not have that same connection to computers than a more youthful demographic.
There is another trick to making things easy and using the 3 seconds of attention you have most effectively. If your website domain matches the name of your company; just add the .com or .ca or whatever you are using in an alternate colour next to your logo. Then, in a glance they know, either Google or enter the url and they can learn more. Bam!
Tip: Lettering can be a waste of money. It sends a signal to a prospective viewer that you are driving a commercial vehicle and they just may not be in the mood to look at that. Sometimes when parked at a job site, it may answer the curiosity about what’s going on there, but on the road, much less likely that you have something to tell them that they want to know.
What are some of the characteristics of a quality wrap that will last over time?
– The vinyl printed on. There are two major categories of vinyl. Calendared and cast. Without going into all the details associated with how these two vinyls are produced; know that you want cast. It’s more expensive but it is highly conformable and will not stretch or shrink in extreme weather fluctuations.
– Over-laminates. You can put a protective layer over your ink. Again, basically two options. Liquid or film. Liquid is cheaper and if the resource you are using has the right equipment; you may be able to save money. They can be effective but you need to be dealing with a guy who knows what he is doing. We only use film over-laminates (that are available as gloss, lustre and matte finishes) and we use cast with cast. If you try to take a shortcut and use calendared with cast; one may shrink over the one that doesn’t. Use your imagination to picture what that will look like.
-We use UV resistant inks to ensure the colours stay vibrant when exposed to the sun. A quality over-laminate will also raise the effectiveness of UV protection. Think in terms of it providing 5 times more UV protection than no over-laminate, not to mention providing some extra protection against road abrasions and light parking lot rash. Another key issue when it comes to inks is how they are presented to the media upon which they are printed. If the vinyl is heated prior to receiving the ink, pores are opened up which allow the ink to penetrate the media versus sitting on top. Think of it like a getaway car being chained to a police car. It’s just a little bit harder for a separation.
– Window Perf; There are difference percentages of visibility. A few key things to understand. Number of holes in relation to material.
You can get 70% vinyl to 30% holes. 60/40 and 50/50. These percentages will influence to vibrancy of the graphic on the outside but will also influence visibility from the inside. The more holes the greater the visibility from inside but the less vibrancy on the outside.
Type of material used as over-laminate. You MUST have an over-laminate otherwise the holes will fill with dust and road grime preventing visibility from within. Some vendors might take a money saving short cut and just use a standard gloss and tell you that the fuzzy view in your rear view mirror is just a fact of life. Nope, for a little more cost; we use optically clear over-lams that will give you sharp focus. Don’t expect perf to last forever. It’s an idea to replace the window graphics ever few years if you are occasionally scraping ice off your glass. Any physical contact (rear wiper blades) will wear out a surface.
Understand that a vertical window allows you to look through a full hole. If the perf is applied to a window on an angle; the greater the angle the less visibility through the hole. Take your finger right now and do a thumb and forefinger a-ok gesture. Look through it when vertical and then proceed to create an angle to view through. See what I mean…or rather, don’t see what I mean.
I can’t overemphasize the importance of this. Experienced installers can make the difference between a seamless installation and that resulting look of a bathroom wallpaper installation between an arguing husband and wife. Seamless is possible but waste consideration will influence the ultimate cost.
A larger vehicle may leave you with no choice but to seam, but a vendor who cares will look at the vehicle and determine if a horizontal seam look better than a vertical one and be aware of ensuring that the overlap seam is done correctly. A horizontal seam must be top over bottom (to ensure water doesn’t have the opportunity to penetrate under the seam) and a vertical seam needs to be front over back to ensure that wind goes over versus trying to rip your back panel off your front panel. It’s an extra effort that is simple to do; if you are aware of the issue. Believe it or not; some installers aren’t but will be after a few clients come back and say, “Why is my wrap peeling?”On aggressive compound curves; the use of a primer (adhesive support) may be required. This adds a more aggressive adhesion, which may be important based on the properties of the vinyl. It takes a bit more effort when a wrap is removed but it is worth it to keep your wrap looking as good as it can for as long as it can.