Wheelwright displays new products, demonstrates website
Wheel supplier, Wheelwright said that its expectations had been exceeded at Brityrex, having chosen to demonstrate the features of its new website and the benefits of premium quality wheels. The company also took the show as an opportunity to communicate its current corporate logo and branding, having removed the “Alcar” portion of its name in 2011. Speaking with Tyres & Accessories, Wheelwright managing director, Kevin Greer said it was important to get out in the market to do this because of the residual “old-style marketing” still present in the UK, but mainly to emphasise Wheelwright’s “differentiation from other brands” with what he described as a “modern, clinical” CI strategy.
Wheelwright was not limited to superficial change over the past few years, as Greer acknowledges the difficulties in marketing a “luxury product” in the current economic climate. This isn’t to say that Wheelwright is coming over all utilitarian; the aesthetics of the company’s exclusive Taiwan manufactured Calibre and premium-leaning Calibre Couture brands show that while it was necessary to have a full product range at lower prices, aesthetics have naturally continued to play an important role in the business. Rather, Greer says the pressure on demand the company anticipated “two years ago” led to Wheelwright seeking “growth areas” in which to focus new strategy.
This provided one of the key reasons to be at Brityrex in 2012; Greer mentioned the “clear appetite to drive the winter market” amongst tyre retailers, and how the wheel supplier can communicate its own winter wheels message to those wanting to ramp up the sale of seasonal rubber. Meanwhile, in the UK van market, Greer suggested that with the potential loss of second vehicles, van owners are “wanting to keep a premium-looking van”, which premium wheels undoubtedly help to present. All in all, Greer said the “declining tuner market has been more than made up for by the commercial and winter markets.”
Another key focal point was Wheelwright’s website, which includes the popular US e-commerce system, Shopatron. It offers “direct from manufacturer” purchasing for the end-user, though transactions made through the site will be fulfilled by Wheelwright dealers, either via post, or in person at the dealer’s premises.
As well as Shopatron, Wheelwright continued to inform visitors to its stand about the company’s “Dealer Tools” section of the website. The company said that “in the first few hours” of the show alone it had “signed up three new” customers to Dealer Tools, showing the practicality of the contact with industry at Brityrex. Wheelwright is also running a blog and attempting to engage visitors to the website through social media channels. The object of all this, Wheelwright says is “customer engagement”, not only with its dealers, but “having end-consumers in sight” too, which it believes will prove beneficial to its dealer customers.