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Wrap shop to ad agency??

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Wraps ink, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    I currently have a ptryy successful wrap/sign shop doing mostly wraps but I have more and more customers wanting us to do more for them as they like our design capabilities. Mostly they ask for websites, facebook or social media, brochures etc. and really design is where I feel we shine so why not expand...so the big question is how would I rebrand without confusing customers? I have always been a fan of do one thing and do it well but growing up in the sign industry I can do mostly anything from sandblasting to hand lettering to airbrush, lighted sign work and now wraps its hard to do just one thing. I feel the sign industry is going more (one stop shop) and am not sure what to do ....any advice would be great!

    the name of my shop is Wraps Ink so I feel it would be hard to market much else..thats my concern.
  2. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

    Mar 12, 2005
    New England
    That's kinda what Dan Antonelli did.
  3. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Exactly....so how do you make this transition? I eventuslly want to create entire bands and actually get paid what its worth. We create logos and concepts for wraps etc. But I don't think I really take advantage of what the entie brand is worth and offer a more complete marketing strategy
  4. xxtoni

    xxtoni Member

    Jan 14, 2012
    We do that. We take the customer from nothing and create everything for them. From the name, business cards, car wraps, web sites, banners, billboards, led signage (the kind you see on buildings) wall scapes, flyers, posters, labels, packaging (boxes for products and such) and then we also handle the printing of these. Basically as far as visual communications are concerned we're the first and only stop. As far as print goes we do wide format, digital and offset.
  5. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    Couldn't you just create a new name for your new services. Officially it would be NEW NAME DBA Wrap Ink. Consult with a lawyer.

    You could use two sided business cards, get a second web site and cobrand both for twice the impact. Have an open house for the new business and invite all your existing customers and If you are part of the Chamber of Commerce, invite them as well.
  6. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    I'm not sure if I want to lose the name as we are very known in the area. It may have to come to that I don't want to cut off the bread and butter of my business by making a name change if it isn't neccesary
  7. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    You would keep the name of your current business and create a new name for the new services under the umbrella of the old. Both brands would support each other through business card, web page...

    Your branding services would bring in customers for your wrap/sign business and your wrap/sign business could show existing clients how effective branding leads to more business.
  8. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    Sometimes branding yourself is the hardest branding you can do... ;)
  9. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    thinking of doing Wraps Ink creative tweaking the logo a bit but keeping most of it the same
  10. vid

    vid Very Active Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Without knowing how your customer finds you or the intake procedure, it's tough to come up with the perfect solution for your transition. But I would guess it would start at the sales counter with both existing and new customers by telling them of the services you offer beyond the wraps.

    To promote that, I'd suggest you put together a program of the services you want to do, and think of rough timeline of the transition time to do it.

    Initially, I don't think a name change is necessary... You can "wrap ink" on just about anything, right? But I would start out with a list of options that you can add on to the wrap design. As you said, things like the websites, printing, and branding. That would be part of your new "Expand Your Brand!" program. Hand the customer a tri-fold with the different ways you can expand their brand. Discuss the options at the sales counter, or let them read through the brochure at their leisure. Follow that up with the proof for the wrap, and the question, "what else do you want?"

    Put an "Expand Your Brand!" bug on your website that leads to a gallery showing samples of how the wrap design was used in collateral material.

    Devote 25% of your building/street signs to the "Expand Your Brand!" bug --- and the benefit is, it still kinda works as a tagline for your wrap business.

    Devote a portion of your interior space to samples of the "Expand Your Brand!" program. Ideally, there'd be an artsy-farsty conference room to host the customers ---- errrrr, clients --- with those samples.

    I'd also start using the terminology, "Design Consultation" on your collateral material as a menu or program description. That will help explain to your audience you do more that push a squeegee. That may also work as a sub-head on the "Expand Your Brand!" bug to soften the hesitation of those new to the idea of branding to stop by for an idea of how it works.

    As you monitor your success and adjust your business model, you can start to devote more sign space and advertising to the design aspect of the business. Similarly, start moving "Design and Branding" up the list of menu items you advertise, and push wraps and signs lower. If, at some point you want a new name, introduce that as the top line of the company name like, Purty Goode Designs Shoppe home of Wraps Ink.

    just my .o2

    Admittedly, it sounds as though you are on your way if customers are already asking you for those services. It may be just simply following through on the fundamentals of sales and supporting that transition with subtle changes to your collateral material.
  11. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Thanks for the input!!!:thankyou:
  12. 4R Graphics

    4R Graphics Active Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    I see 3 options

    1 Change the company name (dont like this option)

    2 Create a sperate company call it "whatever" a division of Wraps ink or something like that (set it up so dba doing business as wraps ink that way everything goes smooth on the finance side ask a lawyer) Also have seperate website and ads but include wraps ink into the mix so both companies advertise for the other company.

    3 just add the services and start letting others know and see where it grows then make a choice on where you want it to go (easiest but may take some time to really get moving)

    Free advice take it for what its worth.
  13. 300mphGraphics

    300mphGraphics Active Member

    Aug 15, 2006
  14. Joe Diaz

    Joe Diaz Very Active Member

    I think your best bet would be to transition into what you want to be. That is kind of what we have been doing. The reality is a sign business and maybe even a wrap business is actually a great place to build up your client base if you plan on becoming a marketing firm. You start by targeting small business which are great clients to have in my opinion. Many small businesses would never consider going to a marketing firm. They may however stop in to order vehicle lettering or a sign. When they come in to order that stuff, we have found it's not too difficult to sell those businesses on a full identity. This helps you build long term business relationships and repeat business. I can't even count how many people have stopped in to order just a new sign for their new business, and walked out the door having ordered a Logo, marketing collateral with the knowledge that we offer even more. If we do a good job, which we try our hardest to do every time, they come back later to hire us for more projects.

    While you are doing all that, as others have suggested, you can develop a secondary identity for yourself, if the one you currently have isn't helping you promote yourself as a design/marketing firm. Then promote that and go after the work you want, just don't neglect your first identity, because if you do that it shows and will negatively effect both of your images. When and if that time comes where you decide doing wraps is no longer what you want to do and the design work has been rolling in through your new identity, than you can make the switch.

    That's how I would do it anyway.
  15. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    Joe that was my thought exactly we help so many small businesses by updating or coming up with a fresh concept and they almost always want to know if we can put the logo on their website or update business cards or existing signage.
    And you are right that small businesses aren't gonna go to a large firm for ideas but if I can offer better service and better quality design and upsale it we can be successful
  16. Dan Antonelli

    Dan Antonelli Very Active Member

    Sep 13, 2003
    It's much easier to sell advertising and marketing services when you present that as being your primary line of business. It's a bit harder to to be a sign company that now has an ancillary marketing and advertising service. There's wasn't an overnight change from when we transitioned - it took time, but a marketing agency is automatically going to be assumed to know much more than a sign company does. Which they should and do need to know. Providing branding, marketing strategy and marketing advice is a serious responsibility - especially when you're working with small business marketing budgets. People's lives and livelihoods are at stake based on what you do or don't do.

    It sounds like you are on the path now. Set a course for where you want to be not tomorrow but in a few years. Work diligently on your identity and all your brand touchpoints so the right message is being given. Rethink your approach and focus on selling service versus commodity (which is a common sign company impression). Focus on how your services will solve a problem, rather than provide what is exactly being asked of. Remember how important perception is of your capabilities.
  17. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

    Sep 1, 2010
    Myrtle Beach SC
    thanks for your input where I seem to be stuck at is what to sub out and what to offer in house
    Web sites are my biggest hurdle as of now. We do design print and installation of wraps signs banners etc. In house and dabble in web design I have the vision for it but lack technical knowledge
    So its hard to say where to start..
  18. TXFB.INS

    TXFB.INS Very Active Member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Lone Star State
    Since you are in a growing stage, I would start out looking at a student internship for URL designs / tech school / etc... at this point put the person on a part time bases and see what they can create.
    or have them work on a website for you growing avenues as see how creative they are / how well they fit into your surroundings

    there is no reason all you do has to be under 1 name.

    Take 3M, they have COUNTLESS names for each of their different businesses
  19. Thyll

    Thyll New Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Greer, SC
    I used to work for a company that had several brands. I watched them all get built. I can tell you that I would hesitate to run multiple brands under one roof as it creates a system and accounting nightmare.

    Changing names can seem scary but you have to pay attention to the ROI. If you feel like expanding into other markets will generate extra income the cost of changing names should be justifiable. I would consult with a marketing/branding company and work with them on a process. They can help you come up with a name that makes sense and then give you a road map for migrating over. Communicating with your current client base through email blasts, advertising, standard print collateral etc, would be the most important task.

    Just make sure you do it in an organized manner and do it all at once. Don't wait until you are out of your old collateral because you want to save a few bucks. When you launch the new name and logo, toss all the old stuff. This will reduce risk of confusion.

    I follow a SEO company that recently changed their name. It used to be SEOMoz. Now it is just Moz. Take a look at their homepage and you can see where they mention the change. As the company grews they realized they didn't want to limit themselves to just SEO. Similar to what you are going through.

  20. Kaiser

    Kaiser Member

    Oct 25, 2012
    I would go along the lines of starting a different brand but under the same roof.
    The "a division of Wraps Ink" route is the best option you have right now IMHO.
    Use it mainly for advertising purposes but billing would be Wraps Ink. Saves you on legal and accounting hassles. Just mark them off as Advertising services rendered. I dont know to what extent that would be a problem in the USA but I very much doubt it would raise any issues.
    If it really takes off, launch it as a new spinoff company.

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