Pricing your product in any type of business can be one of the most challenging aspects of starting or running a successful business. Here at Digital EFX Wraps we are constantly trying to convey to our customers the relationship between quality and price. Regardless of your company’s location it’s important to know what your competition is charging along with what niche your company caters to. We have been fortunate over the past eight years to train the industry on design, print, marketing, production, and installation. One of the most common questions or topics is “How do I price vehicle wraps properly?”
I have found that the area or location of your business can play a big part in your pricing structure. Obviously if there is a lot of competition, pricing can be driven down because of supply and demand. We have more competition than ever before, and that requires us to constantly educate our customers (and ourselves).
It’s very important to get a pulse on what your competition is charging along with the level of service and quality they provide. This will hopefully allow you to compare apples to oranges.
Consider the Competition
I find myself sometimes pulling off the side of the road to look at wraps that our company did not create or install. I look for print quality, effective design, and how clean the installation job looks. Sometimes you can call that same company and ask who provided the wrap for their vehicle.
We also look at our competitor’s website from time to time to see what jobs or projects they have completed recently. If you see one of those vehicles on the road or parked, stop and check out the quality of work that they completed. I always let our potential clients know that we design, print, produce, and install all our wraps in-house. Nothing is subcontracted out so we can maintain control of quality and our attention to detail.
We also provide printing specs, material data, and previous testimonials to help our customers make an educated decision on their vehicle wrap company. Offering options and warranties can also help with making an important decision on which company the client chooses to use. Another key component of knowing your competition’s pricing is don’t be afraid to ask your client questions after losing out on a job or bid. Six years ago I started asking our potential clients what made them choose our competition. Some companies may not feel comfortable releasing any information but I do find that building that relationship from the beginning will allow you to ask the questions you want to know. Finding out if you lost out on a quote based on price, material, turnaround time, or attention to the customer’s needs can play an important role on future prospects and clients.
Know What You’re Worth
If you know that your quality and services outweigh your competition then don’t be afraid to charge more. Lowball pricing is a losing strategy.
Pricing yourself too low can also hurt your business in the long run. I believe that you always get what you pay for and conveying this to your client can be one of the most challenging parts of your business. We always tell our students and sales staff to produce a quality product that impresses your competition.
Remember, once you lower your pricing it’s hard to charge more for the same product on down the road. I also highly suggest requesting your clients visit your facility. Let them meet the staff, see the printers in action, and hopefully a project or two going on while they are visiting. Seeing all the parts of a working wrap shop really sells the customer on what your company can provide for them.
Traveling across the country for training and trade shows has allowed us to ask other companies what they charge in their area for design, print, and installation on vehicle wraps. I’m amazed at how cheap and underpriced some companies choose to sell their services. Heavily populated areas tend to be more saturated than smaller to medium cities or locations. These shops are fighting harder than ever to gain more clients and jobs based on pricing only. Of course, reliability, quality, turnaround time, and effective designs play a roll but a fair amount of companies are looking for the cheapest price only.
If you can create a culture and marketing presence in your area for being priced higher than your competition because you offer a higher-quality product, it will allow to you grow and succeed. If you find that you are going up against more quotes than ever and pricing is driving you out of potential sales, I suggest also offering your services to surrounding areas or counties that may not have access to the services you provide. After 10 years in business, we have been fortunate enough to pull clients from a 120 mile radius to help with our company’s growth.
Niche Inside a Niche
One of the great aspects of the vehicle wrap industry is that companies can create a niche inside of a niche. Vehicle wrapping is an art form and requires attention to detail that other industries don’t require. We have run across companies that produce only marine graphics and boat wraps that are located near coastal waters or large bodies of water. If your company is close to one of these areas your pricing will be based on demand and quality that is being provided in that location. Dealing with customers’ personal watercraft or recreation vehicles should allow you to charge a premium for the entire project. Most of these jobs are one-offs and people will pay top dollar for high-quality custom work.
Other wrap companies may be near car manufacturing plants that will allow them to install large fleet graphics and packages to companies that require the vehicle to be wrapped before being delivered. Some of these companies can wrap 200-400 vehicles a year.
Of course, pricing in this arena requires exact labor costs and a pricing structure that reflects the amount of work being awarded to your company. Landing a large contract job requires lower pricing based on the number of units wrapped but also gives your company some security for future work and stability. Keep in mind that when this does happen you will also have new customers willing to pay full price for your work while maintaining a contract job with the same amount of quality and attention to detail. At the end of the day this is not a bad problem to have.
Serving the Wealthy
Having your vehicle wrap company located in a high-income area will allow you to bid and produce specialty wraps using color-change films or other specialty films. We have found that in certain areas around L.A., Miami and other major cities, high-end cars seem to be more available; and wealthy clients will require their Bentley or Ferrari to be wrapped in a matte black or other some of the other fantastic colors that are available.
Once you create a niche and you know what your competition produces and charges, you will know how to price yourself to remain profitable. These types of wraps require even more attention to detail, along with dismantling of parts to achieve a high-end wrap. These are also the types of clients who-if they like your work-will spread the word through there spheres of influence. Keeping a strong marketing campaign that hits your target audience should help you gain and retain your existing clientele.
Here in Louisville, Kentucky, we have hot and humid summers along with cold bitter winters. Our sales tend to drop during the colder months. I think the weather plays a big part in a client’s decision as to when to invest in vehicle wraps and mobile advertising. When it’s 10 degrees outside and snow is covering the ground, most of our clients are not thinking about wrapping new vehicles. The busiest times for us are in spring and summer.
To help offset our slower months we give our best customers a decent discount to encourage them to wrap some vehicles during the winter months. This will allow you to reward some of your great clients and also help you pay the bills and to stay profitable during your slow times. When you have one or two slow months it can really dig a financial hole in your cash flow and overhead.
If your company is located in warmer climes you should be able to maintain a full workload throughout the year. If your company is located in a colder area this may put a damper on the amount of work you can maintain throughout the year.
Regardless of temperature or location, pricing should reflect you, your company, the quality of the work you produce and allow you to be profitable so you can be there for your clients in the future.
Clients Remember Quality
As you move forward with your wrap business, keep tabs on your competition, price yourself to be profitable, and always educate your customers as to the relationship between quality and price.
About a month ago we had a new client who came in to pick up his vehicle wrap. He had taken his time to choose the company he felt comfortable with. He told me after paying his invoice that quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten. I don’t think the quote was his, but still, it was one of the best compliments we have ever received. To me, having a satisfied customer is one of the most rewarding things to see and hear. Having a client who can see and appreciate high quality and realize that they did get what they paid for is the icing on the cake!