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The Benefits of a Niche

Consumer Vehicle Wraps

Part 1 of 4

By Melissa Donovan

Commercial vehicle wraps are predominately used to advertise products or services. Another popular vehicle wrap audience is consumer.

Consumer wraps are often seen in marinas, where people wrap their own boats for personal expression. Although not as popular as a commercial wrap, consumer wraps are a growing niche. Print service providers (PSPs) can attract consumers to their shops not only for car wraps, but also for wrapping motorcycles, bike helmets, and electronic devices. Consumer wraps express passions, affiliations, and more.

"By expanding into the personal vehicle wrap market, PSPs can begin to serve a new and potentially lucrative graphics market. Additionally, demand from the personal market can help to offset fluctuations in demand for services from traditional commercial graphics customers," explains David Grant, VP of marketing, Oracal USA.

Personal Offerings
At first, PSPs may balk at the idea of offering consumer wraps, wrapping a vehicle for a non-repeat customer is less than lucrative. However, "if you start looking at the numbers, the shear potential is astounding. If we successfully create a way to make consumer wraps more cost-effective for PSPs, the return is there, because everyone owns a car," says Jason Amidon, product marketing supervisor, 3M Graphics Market Center.

There is profit potential, and consumer wraps are educational. "Next to profit, PSPs also gain experience and knowledge. Custom, personal vehicle wraps are often completed on unique vehicles and these projects really boost portfolios and marketing platforms," shares Jason Yard, marketing application specialist, MACtac Graphic Products.

"These vehicles are often wrapped for car shows and other forms of exhibition. Pictures and testimonials from jobs like these are excellent ways for a PSP to market their ability to produce high-quality, custom work," adds Ritchie Daize, international digital sales manager, Arlon, Inc.

According to Martin Kugler, corporate communications manager, Hexis USA LLC, consumer vehicle wraps is a fast growing market. It is a great alternative to spraying a vehicle with paint; especially since media is so easy to remove.

Accommodating Consumers
Although consumers represent a large potential market, many PSPs move tentatively into consumer wraps. "Shops with a steady stream of commercial customers tend to be less motivated to expand into the personal market, however, just about all of them have done personal wraps as favors to friends and family members," admits Grant.

"It really depends on a combination of things, including the customer, vehicle, and return on investment. If the PSP is not loosing time and money by doing a personal vehicle, they are usually willing to accommodate," shares Yard.

As long as they are paying jobs, most PSPs will agree to tackle a consumer wrap, according to Molly Waters, strategic sales support manager, Avery Dennison.

Arlon’s Daize stresses that PSPs need to have patient art directors on staff to support the custom wrap niche. More often than not, a PSP is working directly with the client and not through a third party like an agency. Also, since the design will be applied to a personal vehicle, the customer tends to be a bit more sensitive regarding the design and application.

Coming Up
A wrap is only as good as the media used to create it. Next week read up on a comprehensive list of media products recommended for consumer vehicle wraps.


Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Oct2009, Digital Output

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