We have an extensive distribution network and a global customer base. It’s important to us that our distribution network feel valued and supported in their efforts to promote our wheel protectors to their respective marketplaces.
In addition to our regular Distributor Newsletter, we regulary share a Distributor Spotlight, focusing on a different distributor each time. We believe that sharing the knowledge is a great way to help the rest of the network maximise their sales and growth by learning more about the structure and marketing efforts of distributors in other regions.
We hope these Spotlights will encourage active discussion, information sharing and collaboration amongst our valued network of existing distribution partners, plus encourage new partners to join our team.
AlloyGators are sold worldwide, with many drivers seeing them as a vehicle must-have. Have AlloyGator wheel protectors been well received in your region?
Yes, both in Canada and the US markets. Most people say “Why didn’t I think of it?” or “I needed this last week before I hit the curb!”
For your market, what are the top selling points for AlloyGator wheel protectors?
We primarily focus on retention, generating a quality revenue stream and offering personalised wheel protection.
The customer retention potential is a significant attraction for automotive dealers as the aftermarket shops and tire shops are targeting the same customer. Having a product or service that gives the customer another reason to come back to your business is very important in today’s competitive market.
Personalized wheel protection is what the brand is all about for us, and that is how we promote its superiority in comparison to other wheel protection products.
Which online platform have you found most lucrative for spreading the word about AlloyGator wheel protectors?
We have two websites, two Facebook pages and two Instagram accounts, one for each country, which has provided good reach and exposure for building brand awareness.
There is a continued need to build brand awareness across the globe. We ran an extensive campaign on Facebook focusing on California, Arizona, Texas, Florida and New York, and offered the product for retail purchase as a standalone, as well as with installation. We got a lot of comments about the product and a greater number of queries from businesses wishing to become trade partners, than from customers wishing to purchase the product themselves.
Have you engaged social influencers to help promote the product? If so, has it worked and can you share any tips for others?
Yes. We have engaged Anthony from Mad Whips who has a very large following. Anthony promotes the product regularly on Instagram, but we’ve seen very few sales directly from his Instagram account. This activity is good for brand awareness, but we find it hard to measure any positive impact.
What offline marketing activity do you undertake, and how has this activity impacted your sales?
We have done quarterly advertising in Automotive News Fixed Ops magazine for two years ($7K per insertion), as well as a number of other advert placements in numerous publications including adverts in a tire review magazine (both English and French for Canada), adverts in Fixed magazine for 2018 in the US and adverts on transit buses in Vancouver.
We have also used radio promotion on TSN 1040 to offer promotional give-aways and exhibited at a number of shows including Indy 500, Vancouver Auto Show, Vancouver Home Show, International Rental Car Show in Las Vegas ($5K), PGA show in Orlando Florida ($10K), MOPAR Service and Parts Convention in Orlando, Florida and Las Vegas for over 1200 MOPAR dealers across the US ($15K), numerous SEMA shows (at $30k per show) and numerous NADA shows (at $25K per show).
We generate few retail sales from these shows as they are mostly about building brand awareness and growing our installation network.
For your market, are end user retail sales or sales through your appointed trade fitters more successful?
Our primary focus was to kill the DIY mindset and work on the B2B model to try and build a premium brand product image that can prove its value for a business, and most importantly, has to be installed by an authorized retail partner or trained installer.
We work with our partners to promote AlloyGator Wheel Protection. Once we have a much larger install network, we can then work a different sales model.
The US has 11 states that are larger than the entire UK; the US is 40 times bigger than the UK, and Canada is 41 times bigger than the UK. The reality is, to build an install network that would cover enough areas to be convenient for a customer to drive to for installation not only takes time, but is a daunting task. Saying that, we now have at least one retail partner or authorized installer in 36 states and four provinces, but we are not even close to meeting the convenience of installation expectation here in North America from our consumers.
What exciting plans lay ahead for AlloyGator America and Canada?
We have committed to six issues with Motor Trend Magazine, focusing directly on the consumer to push them to ask for AlloyGator Wheel Protection from their service center. We are considering looking at digital advertising with Motor Trend Magazine but will assess the worthiness of this kind of advertising after measuring the response from the first magazine insertion.
We are also working with Mad Whips on a new campaign for 2019 to try a more sales directed campaign to see if that improves sales from his Instagram following. We just attended another NADA convention in San Francisco with a booth and car and have Vancouver Home Show in February along with the 2019 SEMA in early November.
We are working to create new YouTube Videos directed at the consumer, an updated training video for our B2B network as our primary focus for the 2019 marketing campaign is how to take the consumer from loving the concept, to actually purchasing the AlloyGators.