One of the most fundamental decisions a gas station owner must make is whether to offer branded or unbranded fuel. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, and we can help you set up either option for your business.
Branded fuel options include fuels from such companies as Chevron, Shell, Texaco, and 76.
Many consumers prefer to purchase branded fuel because they feel the quality is higher. While fuel distributors may sell the same gasoline to both branded and unbranded retailers, only branded fuel is treated with additives designed to keep the gasoline cleaner and engines running better. For example, Chevron, Shell, Texaco, and 76 all produce TOP TIERTM Detergent Gasoline, which is treated with an approved TOP TIERTM Detergent Gasoline Additive.
Branded fuel also comes with the value of name recognition. Many consumers develop assumptions of the quality of service from a certain brand of gas station and will drive out of their way to exclusively purchase fuel from that brand.
Consumers easily recognize the logo of their favorite brands, and will have a pre-developed trust for the products they will purchase there.
Branded fuels will cost you generally 5 to 15 cents more per gallon. This additional cost is meant to cover the advertising provided by the branded company and the fuel additives in their product. Branded fuel companies may also have rules you must follow in regards to building maintenance, signage, hours of operation, and other similar business practices.
Unbranded fuel does not come with a brand name attached to it. In fact, with this option, you may choose any one of several suppliers to provide your station with gasoline. Generally, business owners seek the lowest cost options in order to optimize their profit margins. Savvy shopping for fuel can save a business owner 5 to 15 cents per gallon.
Your fuel may come from many of the same distributors as branded fuel, just without the additives. While consumers may feel additives are important, keep in mind that any fuel sold must meet government regulations for quality.
Typically there are no contracts or requirements between the retailer and the fuel distributor in regards to fuel supply. That means an owner can continue to shop the market for the best prices to keep prices down and margins up. On the downside, if there is a fuel shortage, distributors will generally fulfill commitments to its branded customers first.
Your flexibility with unbranded fuel is tremendous. You have the ability to name your business, choose your own logo, set your hours of operations, and create your business rules.
In the competitive retail gasoline industry, an alliance with an industry leader in value-added petroleum products could be the distinguishing factor that promotes long-term success. Choosing a gasoline supplier is a significant decision with many factors. We have the experts to help you with every step along the way.