Vehicle Branding: The Ultimate Guide
What is vehicle branding?
Vehicle branding is the process of applying decals, cutout lettering, stickers or large sheets of vinyl to your vehicle.
There, simple – your guide is finished. Now go out and brand your company car!
Well, it is not that easy, you have to decide do you want a full wrap, half wrap, just lettering, lettering and decals, the list can be quite endless.
First, let’s ask. Why do I want to get my vehicle branded?
Well there are a number of reasons and they all come down to marketing.
1. Brand awareness
Having your vehicle branded will help your business stand out to pedestrians and motorists. By professionally branding your vehicle, you maximize the impact it makes on the road and people are more likely to remember your business than a business that does not have vehicle branding.
2. Build a business presence in your area
Vehicle branding provides a powerful foundation to take over your local business area. Most views you get will be from those in your area that your business operates. Having people notice your vehicle branding may inspire them to turn to you to help them with there needs.
3. Cost-effective advertising
Vehicle branding is a economical form of advertising. You are able to change the look of your vehicle as often as your like. You can have your vehicle branded with your company’s services for several years or you can wrap your vehicles in different promotional campaigns every few months.
4. Your company reach is wider with vehicle branding
Through South Africa’s POPI act, peoples rights to how their data is used has changed. However with your company’s vehicle being branded, you do not have to worry about getting email address or advertising online. Every type of customer you want will be driving in their cars seeing your vehicle. We spend on average over 1000 hours a year driving in our vehicles. With cars, trucks and bakkies being the dominant form of transport, you company vehicle is going to be seen by many potential customers.
5. Vehicle protection
Branding or wrapping your vehicle offers a layer of protection that will prevent stones, chips scuffs and minor scraping from damaging your vehicle. Once a wrap is removed, it shows the paintwork underneath in a near mint condition, regardless of how long the vinyl has been on, which helps when you are trading in your old ride for a new one.
What is vinyl?
We have spoken about vehicle branding and why you would want it to be branded or wrapped. Now let’s talk more about the substrate that is used in vehicle branding.
Vinyl is the substrate used on both signs and vehicle wraps, however not all vinyl is created equal.
There are 2 specific types of vinyl, monomeric and polymeric.
Monomeric vinyl has what we call in the industry a “memory” which means that it is going to try and return to the position it was once in – which in all cases means if there is any tension applied to it, it will gradually move back its original position. For signage or sign makers, this isn’t a problem as the surface they work on is flat and so there is no need to apply tension to it. Vehicle branding is completely different.
Vehicles have complex curves and monomeric vinyl cannot handle that. This is why on vehicles on the road or even on your own, you will see vinyl popping and even pulling back. this leaves an undesirable look and having spent money is not something you want to happen.
As a minimum vehicle branding/ wrapping experts will at least use Polymeric Vinyl for their installs. Polymeric vinyl is different in that it doesn’t have as strong a “memory” as polymeric, this is from the way that the vinyl is made which gives it greater elasticity and allows it to go over or into complex curves.
This vinyl still has the limits of which it will go and installers with the expertise know this. They are either able to inform the customer of a different option or are able to plan around the offending areas with tension cuts.
The best solution however is when the company you chose to do the branding or wrapping are able to inform you beforehand and together plan a design that will keep either the vinyl away from the offending area, or build in measures to prevent popping, fingering or just outright vinyl failure.
Digital Print Media
There are two main types of material that vehicle wrappers use. One is digital print media. This is excellent if you want a specific image printed, or if your design is using gradients and you cannot get the look from any colour. Digital print media is also used if you have a specific Pantone that is required and it has to be matched by the vehicle wrap company. The other is pre-pigmented vinyl. Commonly called colour change vinyl. This is used when you want solid colours and the design does not require any printing. There are other types of vinyl such as paint protection over laminates, speciality vinyl – your chromes and pearlescent
The use of vinyl will depend on your needs and the capabilities of the vehicle wrap company you choose.
At Brandy and Co, we use a large format printer that is able to print large sheets of vinyl, thus allowing us to give you unique designs that buck the trend and make you stand out.
Types of vehicle branding.
You can transform the appearance of your vehicle by wrapping it in large sheets of vinyl printed with your desired design. The vinyl is expertly applied and moulded around the bodywork’s contours. By doing this, the vehicle will have a new look and feel and you will be able to use it as the best advertising tool.
Partial wraps are an excellent choice if you do not have the funds to do a full wrap. A partial wrap can be designed with the current colour of your car in mind. This will give it an attractive look which can be as appealing as a full wrap.
Decals and Stickers
You can easily and economically personalize your vehicles with vinyl lettering and graphics. For maximum impact, decals usually feature full-colour graphics and are usually larger stickers.
Stickers made to order are ideal for promotional events when only a few stickers are needed. They are well suited for ad hoc applications since they can be created quickly. Both stickers and decals are waterproof and can be applied to the bodywork of a vehicle or on its rear window. Compared to full vehicle wraps, both options are faster and more cost-effective, and their designs can be adapted to match the vehicle’s existing colour.
Printed Window Film
Printed window film or Contravision is used when you want the design to continue on the window or if you do not want any branding on the car itself. It is most commonly used on the back windows.
At Brandy & Co Media, we do not advocate the use of Contravision on a back window, with any inclement weather, particularly rain affecting the visibility of a vehicle and any vehicle with wipers on the back will inevitably fade the ink on the film and destroy the look you want for your vehicle.
Reflective vinyl is great if you want your car to be visible at night, or create a different effect. There are many forms and printed on digital vinyl is becoming increasingly popular.
However be aware that certain areas of your vehicle should not have reflective vinyl on them. Your bonnet is a specific area to avoid using reflective vinyl.
Magnetic signs are an effective temporary solution to vinyl and are easy to use and maintain. Used as either a short-term branding requirement or for a promotional campaign magnetic signs are a good way to start off the process of branding your vehicle.
What is the price of vehicle branding?
The price of vehicle branding comes to to a few factors:
- What design is required
- The type of material used
- If the design requires digital printing and the use of multiple colours.
- The number of hours that is required for installation.
Full Wrap Digital Print
Cost: R16 500
Extra Info: This was printed with a vehicle grade cast vinyl and then laminated on top to provide extra UV protection, and also provide better chip and scratch protection
Partial Wrap Digital Print and Pre-pigmented vinyl
Extra Info: The bin was wrapped with a pre-pigmented cast vinyl and placed onto was the printed logo with cut out lettering on the doors.
Vinyl Cut Lettering and Decals
Extra Info: Digitally printed logo and lettering to match clients brand identity with vinyl cut lettering on the door and rear of vehicle.
Vinyl Cut Lettering
Extra Info: Vinyl cut lettering on both sides and tailgate of bakkie.
Vehicle branding or wrapping is an excellent way to get your vehicle out there, whether for business or personal use. However, it is important to do your homework.
There are plenty of cheaper vinyl options that have hit the market in recent years, but these options fail to live up to the standards of the well-known vinyl manufacturers. 3m, Avery, Metamark, and Orafol are some of the leading vinyl suppliers around the world with the pricing set to match.
There are many people out there who do vehicle branding as a side to their main service, most of the time sign maker businesses. These shops do not have the expertise that matches companies who specialise in this. Unfortunately as the client, you can only see this poor workmanship after the job has been done and in some cases only after the wrap has been removed.
Look for companies who prioritise their workmanship and offer the guarantees to match it.