The new Oakleaf Franchise Owner's Mobile Showroom

When planning the re-launch of its franchise opportunity and deciding which 'tools' would be of most use to franchise owners, Oakleaf listened seriously to the comments it received from its franchise network.

One of the recurring requests was somewhere in which Oakleaf franchise owners could display their products. The result is the introduction of a new mobile showroom, issued to each franchise owner, to facilitate attendance at local agricultural shows, race meetings, retail parks etc.

The mobile showroom is easily accessible to customers so they are able to truly appreciate the quality of Oakleaf brand's hand-stained replicas of old or otherwise interesting originals, cast from its unique resin-based material, which looks, sounds and feels authentic.

In addition to a substantial increase in the display allowances, franchise owners are able to offer associated retailers, including interiors boutiques, kitchen and fireplace showrooms.

Measuring about 3m x 2m on a lightweight single-axle chassis and designed to be suitable for towing by an average saloon and easy manoeuvring on site, these smart trailers are liveried to carry the company brand, product description and contact details, to act as a mobile advertising board while in transit or on site.

The displays within feature the most popular products from the Oakleaf range, in a variety of finishes, including reproduction oak beams, Jacobean wall panelling, trimmed with carved cornice and embellishment, fitted furniture concealed within panelling and mock leather-bound book spines, ornate pelmets, mantelshelves, and a variety of loose samples for visitors to handle. Amanda Feather, who operates the company-owned franchise, which covers the territory surrounding the factory, explained that the benefits of the trailer quickly became apparent.

"Not only does it look classy, promoting the all-important quality of the brand, but it made attending shows so easy, being ready for business within minutes of arrival at the showground,' explains Amanda. "Previously we would have to spend hours carrying the equipment to site and preparing the displays on free-standing supports, often balanced on soft and uneven ground."

When the mobile showroom was unveiled at the National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC last year, visitors were amazed when stepping into the trailer at the feeling of space, far beyond its modest dimensions.

"It's like a medieval TARDIS", said one visitor, who was further amazed by the hidden cupboard door concealed by Oakleaf faux-leather book spines.

In addition to this valuable marketing role, the trailer can be used during site visits when customers are able to experience first-hand the atmosphere created by Oakleaf products when fitted, just a few short steps from their front door. However, wherever parked, the trailer continues its role, quietly promoting the brand.