What are Fleet Wraps and How do they Benefit Your Business?
One of the frustrating things about marketing your small- to medium-sized, local business is looking around at all the thousands of people who could be buying your products, and not knowing how to reach them. Sure, there are plenty of marketing tools and methods available, but most are expensive, and many offer very small returns on your marketing investment. Fleet wraps cost less money per exposure than any other kind of advertising, and they have a high marketing ROI (return on investment).
If most of your customers are local ones, this relatively new marketing tool can be an attractive option that costs a lot less than radio, TV, Internet, and billboards.
Fleet wraps near me
What are fleet wraps?
You’ve seen them on the street; bright graphics on cars and trucks advertising businesses. Wrap designs are printed on heavy vinyl sheets, which are then cut into custom shapes, stretched and adhered to vehicles—a great place to promote your company and its products.
Even though vehicle wrapping technology is relatively new, the concept of placing advertising on vehicles is actually older than radio advertising. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, ads were being painted on the sides of horse-drawn carriages more than 100 years ago, and now this so called “Out of Home” (OOH) advertising is making a huge comeback.
Types of fleet wraps available
Okay, pause: the term “fleet wraps” may sound like it implies a huge number of vehicles, but a fleet can be any size—even one company car. Wrapping only one vehicle, rather than many, is still extremely cost effective. Even if it’s a bus. Or a semi truck. And you don’t even have to wrap the entire vehicle to promote your company. Let’s look at some options …
• Full vehicle wra Pretty self-explanatory; we wrap the entire vehicle, pretty much every surface, everywhere. Like a full paint job, only much cheaper and more eye-catching.
• Partial vehicle wra A partial wrap costs less than a full wrap because fewer materials and labor hours are used. It’s a good way to bring the price down, and a lot of creative designs are accomplished this way. Partial wraps may not be quite as flashy as full wraps, so it’s important to make sure your message is visible from every angle.
• Spot graphics: Picture a temporary sign on your vehicle, but it’s nicely molded to the body and, unlike removable signs, it looks like it belongs there.
• One-way-vision graphics: This is one of the coolest vinyl technologies, in which window graphics are visible from the outside of the vehicle, but they don’t obstruct the driver’s view from inside. Very striking.
• Vinyl decals: For small graphics, vinyl decals may offer a few more color and design options than those available with vinyl-wrap printing.
• Specialty vinyl materials: You don’t have to think in terms of simple colors when you wrap a fleet vehicle. Vinyls are available in some pretty high-tech formulations, including carbon fiber, iridescent finishes, and camouflage patterns, and that doesn’t even scratch the surface of possibilities. Talk to US Logo’s customer service department if you want to get really creative, and we’ll brainstorm some ideas with you.
The benefits of choosing fleet wraps for vehicles
Most businesses benefit from the use of multiple marketing channels, and you know best which ones will help you connect with customers, but when you compare research data on different marketing strategies, vinyl vehicle graphics consistently outrank them all for local advertisers. Check out these numbers:
• The average American commuter spends over 40 hours in traffic every year, and 95 percent of Americans are commuters in one form or another. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on foot, in a bus or taxi, or driving; most of us spend a lot of time looking at vehicles around us. Fleet wraps provide high numbers of brand exposures precisely because they’re out there in traffic, where the people are.
• Branded vehicle graphics are much harder to ignore than other advertising media. Consumers are quite skilled at glossing over brands and logos as they go about their lives. For most of us, it’s just part of the landscape (whether real or virtual), and our brains register very little of what we see. But vehicle wraps are relatively uncommon, and when we see them, we notice them. Research proves this out: vehicle advertising is 15 times more likely to make a positive brand impression than any other medium.
• Seventy percent of polled consumers said that vehicle wraps have influenced them to make a purchase decision. Sixty percent said they are more likely to buy from a company if they’ve seen its vehicle graphics more than five times.
• Which brings us to longevity and frequency: Unlike most forms of advertising, you only have to buy vehicle graphics once, and they keep on advertising and advertising and advertising.
• In an average market, wraps cost 76 cents per 1,000 brand impressions, or in marketing lingo, a .76¢ CPM (cost per mil—or thousand). That’s a lot of eyes for very little money, especially when you compare it to primetime television at an average $25 CPM, radio at $10 CPM, and newspaper, which rings in at $30 CPM. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using these advertising media; it just makes wraps look like a no-brainer add-on, when you consider the cost difference.
• Nothing beats wraps for ROI: one dollar spent on fleet wraps typically returns nearly three dollars in sales.
• There’s another angle to saving money that doesn’t apply directly to marketing ROI: vinyl protects the paint on your fleet vehicles. It can also be removed and replaced with new vinyl designs if your logo or brand changes in the future.
What kinds of companies can use fleet wraps?
Almost any company with vehicles can benefit from fleet wraps. If anyone in your company drives a vehicle—even a personal vehicle—you might as well put it work generating brand impressions.
Here are a few examples of industries that use vehicle wraps:
• housekeeping services
• home healthcare
• performing arts
• restaurants, cafes, caterers, and food delivery services
• dry cleaning
• daycare centers
• residential and commercial service companies, like cable installers, electricians, plumbers, HVAC services, etc.
Examples of fleet graphics in motion
To start at the beginning, advertising legend has it that PepsiCo was the first company to put graphics on vehicles when they procured the rights to advertise on city buses in Seattle, WA., in the “olden days” of 1993.
The original plan was to paint the buses, but SuperGraphics, a Seattle printing company, convinced PepsiCo to install a new type of vinyl available from 3M instead, promising that the ads would be in place in two days. Pepsi went for it, and the buses were on the streets weeks sooner than painting would have permitted. On a side note, wraps now only take a few hours to install with current technology.
The vinyl wrap idea didn’t take long to catch fire in other applications. Wraps were a practical way to put graphics on vehicles of all kinds because they were not only less expensive than painting, they actually protected the paint. Soon race drivers and custom car owners adopted the technology. Aircraft, watercraft, freight trucks … wraps started finding their way into more and more use, which began to lower their cost.
Now wraps are seemingly everywhere, and their marketing potential has been extensively researched. One study examined zip codes where branded trucks passed through, and calculated that the cost of 1,000 impressions was only 48 cents.
3M study results
As wraps increased in popularity as an advertising tool, 3M was one of the first companies to research their effectiveness. The results were impressive:
• Fleet graphics generate staggering numbers of local brand impressions compared to other advertising media—at the lowest CPM.
• Vehicle routes and messages can be “fine-tuned” to target specific demographic groups in specific geographic areas.
• They found that advertising messages on vehicles are more likely to influence a purchase decision than any other medium.
In one study, 3M compared the cost of fleet wraps to that of billboard advertising in a real-world scenario: seasonal advertising for an opera company in Los Angeles. The study examined data based on the trucks’ locations, which were recorded four times per hour with GPS systems, to calculate how many times the vehicle ads were viewed. Results showed that the opera spent about a fourth as much on fleet wraps as they had spent on billboards during the previous season to achieve the same number of impressions. Billboards averaged $4000 per billboard month, while fleet advertising cost only $1,000 per vehicle per month. Needless to say, the campaign was effective.
Many businesses have reduced these costs even further by paying $500 – $800 per month to place their graphics on personal vehicles. This strategy has been used by such companies as Procter and Gamble, Verizon, and several motion picture studios.
How to make the most of vehicle wraps
We’ve talked about the effectiveness of fleet vehicle graphics compared to other media. Now let’s explore the importance of graphic design for vehicle advertising. As with any advertising medium, the graphics should fit the brand engagement. Like billboards, vehicle graphics should be simple, bold, and easy to absorb at a glance.
Save your bullet points and elaborate explanations for company brochures. When drivers and pedestrians are on the move, they don’t have time to read more than a few words in order to absorb a brand impression. Too many words on a vehicle will actually deter people from taking in your message, so keep it short. Same thing with graphics: overcomplex designs can be confusing to the eye, but simple designs, simple color palettes, and simple messaging allow viewers to quickly absorb the basic information about your brand. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep the graphics simple and limit the written message to a logo, phone number or website address, and maybe a short tagline.
Also consider the wonderful longevity fleet graphics when you craft your design. Unlike a billboard, a vehicle advertisement will still be out on the streets in a few weeks, months, and years, so avoid temporary promotions. Fleet wraps are a perfect medium for evergreen branding messages.
How to track the performance of fleet wraps
We mentioned 3M’s research above, and the same techniques are used by other businesses to track the penetration of their messaging. By putting GPS in each branded vehicle, you can compare their routes to traffic density data, which is available from most municipalities. Cities use this data to make anticipate needed road expansions and improvements, but you can use it to strategize driver routes for the greatest audience coverage. Your normal market research tools can also shed light on how successful your fleet campaign is; by asking customer how the heard about you (with online or in-store questionnaires), you’ll gain a clearer idea of how effective your various advertising media are.
Frequently asked questions about fleet wraps
Now that you have a basic grip on how fleet wraps can augment your marketing mix, let’s review some of the common questions we receive at US Logo about this exciting and relatively new advertising channel.
Spot graphics, partial, and full coverage fleet wraps questions
Note: These questions and answers apply to both full and partial wraps.
What material are fleet graphics and wraps?
Custom fleet graphics are printed onto adhesive-backed, cast vinyl, a special material designed for strength, durability, and the right amount of flexibility to stretch over curved surfaces.
Is the design printed or cut from the vinyl?
Unlike fleet lettering and traditional vinyl signs, vinyl wraps are not made from multiple pieces of colored vinyl combined to form designs on the vehicle surface. Wraps are printed with complete designs, then adhered.
How thick is the vinyl?
Wraps don’t have to be thick, as long as they adhere well to curved surfaces, so the industry standard for wraps is 2 mil plastic, which means it’s two thousandths of an inch thick, the ideal size for both strong adhesion and optimum paint protection. Wraps typically last five years or more with proper installation, even in tough road and weather conditions.
What is the default color? Is it a transparent material?
All wrap designs are printed on white material for maximum color impact, so any unprinted areas will be white.
Does it have a laminate?
On top of the base vinyl material that carries the images, wraps also have a protective laminate layer for additional preservation of the graphics.
Is it safe for outdoor use?
Oh, gosh, yes. Vinyl stands up to the elements exceptionally well. That’s sort of the idea. You’ll be fine as long as your drivers’ routes don’t include extended travel through an Antarctic Winter or across the surface of Venus.
Can my fleet graphics be cut to shape?
Fleet wraps are always cut to shape because every vehicle is different. Any shape you can imagine is possible, and the shapes are used to match vinyl sections perfectly to the surfaces of the vehicle being wrapped.
Do my fleet vehicles need to be flat to have a wraps installed?
Nope. Vehicle vinyl is designed to stretch over vehicle surfaces and stay adhered. They can be placed over corners, rivets, corrugations, and complex curves.
Any restrictions on what I can print?
Hey, it’s your wrap. Other than society’s normal rules of what is and isn’t appropriate for public view, you can create pretty much anything you can imagine.
Are the graphics and wraps temporary or permanent?
Wraps don’t last as long as a paint job; they typically endure for 5-7 years, while a paint job can last longer. But wraps cost far less than custom painting, and they can be removed and replaced when they start showing signs of wear—or when you change the graphic style of your brand.
How is my pricing determined?
A full wrap costs more than a partial wrap, which costs more than a spot graphic because the more material and labor is used, the higher the price. Material choice can also affect price; specialty vinyls like those with matte or iridescent finishes may cost more than plain vinyl materials.
How small/big can my fleet graphics and wraps be?
There are size limitations for fleet graphics, but they seldom present a problem. Because we use huge, industrial printers, a six by six inch spot graphic is the smallest image that makes sense to print. There’s really no limit to how large your design can be because designs can be applied in multiple panels. Individual printed sections are limited in size to 52 inches in width and 33 feet in length, so if you have a fleet of buses or semi rigs, go ahead and think big.
How long will my fleet graphic / fleet wrap last?
Wraps can last a very, very long time, even in unfriendly road and weather conditions, sometimes up to 7-10 years. In all cases, you can plan on your graphics looking great for at least 5 years.
Will fewer colors in my design mean lower pricing?
Unlike old-school printing processes, with which more colors were more expensive, vinyl printing is a digital process, so a rainbow of colors costs the same as one or two colors.
Do you offer other types of car or vehicle decals?
Absolutely. Name it; we can do it.
What surfaces can it be used on? Any fleet vehicles it won’t work on?
If there’s a vehicle that can’t be wrapped, we haven’t seen it yet. Wraps can be applied to paint, aluminum, plastic, stainless steel (for the time travelers and other DeLorean owners out there), fiber glass … you name it. They can be applied over any smooth shape, including rivets and corrugations.
Can I place them on the inside of my windows and have my fleet graphics visible from the outside?
No, graphics should be applied to the outside surfaces of the vehicle, including windows. And if your design includes window coverage, it’s best to use perforated, one-way-vision decals, so as not to limit driver visibility.
What are the most common uses for fleet graphics and wraps?
Fleet graphics are perfect for any design that can’t be created with traditional fleet lettering methods. Graphics offer more design options than a custom paint job, at a fraction of the price.
Many people are choosing vinyl over paint for their personal vehicles because wraps open the door to a huge variety of finishes not possible with paint. But full and partial vinyl wraps are most often used for branding purposes by all kinds of businesses, including freight companies and movers, home and commercial service providers, delivery companies, government offices, caterers, and other commercial applications.
Can I use fleet graphics or wraps on windows? Will they obscure my vision?
You can put wraps onto glass; they will stick, but traffic laws prohibit any graphics that obscure a driver’s vision. Windows are the perfect place to use our perforated window decals, which display designs on the outside that are invisible from the inside.
Can I install the graphics myself? What about a wrap?
Technically, yes, you could apply your own vehicle vinyl, but it isn’t easy. Our technicians are carefully trained to make vinyl stick in the right places and look great. Mistakes are common for individuals who have never worked with adhesive vinyl before, and the adhesives used on wraps are unforgiving. If you don’t place a section correctly on the first try, you can’t peel it up and try again; you have to buy a new piece.
What are the details of your professional installation services for fleet graphics and wraps?
It starts with a phone call or email to US Logo. We’ll need a description of your vehicle, and from there, we can start working with you to create the right design for your needs. Then it’s a simple matter of scheduling your installation at our shop.
What if I have a very large fleet?
We can do it. Our vehicle wraps division can scale up to handle virtually any size fleet, and each vehicle typically takes only a few hours to wrap.
Do you offer account or project management for my fleet branding project?
No problem. We know that putting graphics on a large fleet requires logistical planning from your end, and we’ll help you schedule the transition with as little interruption to your operations as possible.
Do you offer removal services for previous vinyl graphics and wraps?
Sure. When it’s time to remove and replace a wrap, our technicians are trained to do the job right without damaging paint.
Will fleet graphics or fleet wraps damage the paint surface of my vehicle(s)?
With proper installation, vinyl should cause no paint damage whatsoever.
Is there any on-going maintenance needed? Can I use a power washer or take it through a car wash?
For the most part, a wrapped vehicle can and should be washed regularly, just like any other vehicle. We recommend hand washing with a soft rag, soap, and water. Stay away from harsh chemicals and abrasive cleaners, as they may damage the vinyl. For large vehicles that need to be cleaned with a power washer, follow these guidelines:
• Use a nozzle protector to protect the surface against dings and scratches.
• Don’t use a hard, thin stream of water; make sure your nozzle has at least a 40 degree spread.
• Keep the water temperature below 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Keep the spray nozzle perpendicular to the surface, and hold it at least a foot away.
Avoid automatic car washes that use brushes, as these can dull the graphics, and they may even lift the edges of vinyl sections on older installations.
How do I remove the graphics or wraps on my fleet?
Vinyl graphics can be removed with heat or chemicals, depending on the adhesive used, but this should be done by a professional because a lot can go wrong if you’re not accustomed to working with adhesive vinyl. Call US Logo at (316) 264-1321, and we’ll get you on the right track.