Sean Patel took a chance when adding the VP Racing Fuels’ branding program, and the results so far have been promising.
When David Norrell of D&D Energy introduced Sean Patel to VP Racing Fuels’ branding program, Patel not only was unfamiliar with VP but with racing in general. Impressed with the program Norrell outlined, Patel reimaged his Knoxville, Tenn. station with VP in May 2015 and has no regrets. “I recognized the risk of adopting VP’s relatively new program, but sales have exploded and I couldn’t be happier with the results,” he said.
While Patel understood that VP’s race fuels represented a potential revenue stream, he was unprepared for the reaction his new image received. “As soon as the VP logo sign went up on the canopy, people started stopping to ask ‘is this for real…are you going to have race fuel here?’ People came in daily to ask about VP products or Instagram photos to friends in Knoxville to tell them VP’s come to town,” Patel said.
“I’d say 80% of the people coming down this street are race fans and I’ve discovered there are dirt oval tracks, dragstrips, motocross tracks, ATV off-roading…even an air field with R/C airplanes, and VP has a specialty fuel for every one of them,” he added.
This prompted Patel to install two “VP Fuel Cubes” each of which stores 18 five-gallon pails of race fuel. “We stock a wide variety of VP’s fuel blends to satisfy all the different types of racers in our market area. Demand has been better than I ever expected – in fact, we’ll be ordering a third Fuel Cube soon.”
Patel also has seen increased street gas sales and inside sales. “Since completing the reimaging, our fuel volume has grown 500%, with each gallon selling at higher margins. Before reimaging, our inside sales averaged $800 per day, but that’s grown to $1400-1500 per day, with some days as high as $2000!”
Patel attributes his growth to an overall increase in customer traffic due to the VP brand’s appeal, as well as sales of race fuels and other VP-branded products like VP Madditives for gas and diesel engines, VP Small Engine Fuels for outdoor power equipment and a healthy volume of VP apparel. “I think any station owner should ask himself how many people want a t-shirt with an oil company logo on it? I believe the answer is obvious.”
“We give away VP stickers and calendars – they’re really popular. We hung a VP logo banner outside when we opened and people actually asked if they could buy it.”
“VP’s branding program is making our station a destination. You can see it on Facebook, where we (VNK Market) had 30 followers before reimaging, but now we’re over 400, even though this area is very slow in terms of social media.”
According to Patel, the VP/D&D team has been more supportive than any energy company he’s ever dealt with. “We’re currently looking at building a new ground-up station, and I’ll definitely brand it with VP Racing Fuels. VP’s program offers more potential to grow my business than I’ve ever experienced before.”