The Car Wrap Club soft launched earlier this year, with a white label website and social media campaign to generate interest and leads for car wrap companies. So far the website has generated “hundreds” of leads and social media interactions according to Paperlinx head of digital marketing Nick Stragnell.
The initiative is the second in the paper merchanting group’s customer-centric projects, following on from the launch of its printers’ webstores packaging service in May.
The Car Wrap Club project, which has in effect been in beta and more focussed on raising awareness via social media, is now set to go fully operational with a new, content driven website, supported by AdWord advertising, going live next week.
“When we looked at launching The Car Wrap Club, we were aware that there might be some sensitivities about us targeting end users and in effect leapfrogging our customers. But after we spoke to them, they fed back that there isn’t a lot of knowledge and awareness out there and if we can help change that then that would be great,” said Stragnell.
“We’re at the point now, six months after we had the first idea, that we’ve now tested the water and it’s been fantastic, so we’re ready to take it to the next level.”
The first member of The Car Wrap Club is AST Signs, with five more companies set to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
To support The Car Wrap Club strategy, an HGV trailer converted into a training centre has been touring Paperlinx branches in Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Northampton, London, Bristol and Birmingham for the past few months. It was also on show at Fespa and live wrapping demonstrations were held at the recent Mini Festival at Brands Hatch, in conjunction with Mini racing specialist Lohen, to drive consumer awareness.
The “training truck” offers practical information for new entrants to car wrapping and established wrap companies looking to develop their skills. It is also being used for Paperlinx to benchmark the skill levels of the latter group, with a view to them being accredited and invited to join the club.
The training truck is run by Rob Lambie, head of sign and display buying consortium UK Sign Group.
Stragnell said that the company was ultimately looking at 100 members, but the plan was to be selective in terms of service quality and the fact that they are Paperlinx customers in some form. Equally, the merchant will aim not have any two members that are in direct geographic competition.
“We don’t want to put customers in competition with each other, equally we don’t want to be seen as playing favourites. The important thing to remember is that we’re not just looking to drive business to members, we want to raise awareness of what’s possible with wraps. It will hopefully increase our business, but it will probably also increase business for our rivals too – and that’s fine.”
Paperlinx executive director Andrew Price added: “We provide the training, we provide the customers and, of course, we provide the raw materials. It’s an opportunity to provide printers the chance to enter a new market. But it’s very transparent, we want to sell more product – but we’re adding true value to our customers too.”
For more information on the Car Wrap Club, visit thecarwrapclub.com.