Many of your trade customers are likely to remember the long-gone days of oil simplicity – one bulk tank, one engine oil requirement, usually a 10w40, says Dave Woodman, General Manager of Rossmore Lubricants, the sole distribution partner for Gulf Lubricants in the UK & Ireland. He recognises that the oil market has long since changed:
With the continuous development of engine technology by original equipment manufacturers, engine oil has become an integral component, helping achieve manufacturer targets towards improvements in emissions, economy, and power output.
This means there is now an increasing array of oil requirements, each with their own complexities yet, often, the lubricant in a car is still treated with a degree of commoditisation – often with little or no value placed on it.
This is no different to the old 10w40 days, and, therefore, the key focus can often become all about price rather than the quality, manufacturer approvals or, still important to many consumers, the brand.
Admittedly, many consumers are price sensitive; however, if this was the case for all, brands wouldn’t exist. It’s important not to assume all consumers are the same and have the same requirements – by offering strong brands, your workshop customers can differentiate themselves, while also increasing profitability and customer satisfaction.
It then becomes your role to also offer this choice through your network, again, not assuming that all workshops are looking for the lowest price. Some will want ad-hoc use of a brand to use on a certain vehicle or for a particular customer, while others will want to fully partner with a brand to share in marketing and branding initiatives.
What makes an iconic brand?
When looking for an oil brand to represent, Gulf was at the top of the tree in terms of an iconic brand that we wanted to be involved with, as for a lot of people, it still invokes an emotion.
It boasts 100 years of global experience and innovation, while Gulf’s orange disc is instantly recognisable throughout the world – a pre-requisite of an icon!
Throw in Steve McQueen, Gulf Racing colours, Le Mans and a partnership with McLaren (stretching back to Bruce McLaren over 60 years ago) and you have a great mix of ingredients to give you ‘iconic brand’ status.
Rossmore Lubricants has been entrusted to revitalise the Gulf Lubricants brand in the UK aftermarket, and the aim is to achieve this through the formation of strong, long-term partnerships within each sector that it operates.
Partnerships in your sector offer ease of accessibility to the brand for independent workshops and the opportunity for interested distributors to join the journey in ‘bringing back the Gulf brand.’