That’s a Wrap

Jonathan Glen has combined entrepreneurial spirit and business expertise to tackle the world of mobile advertising.

You’ve likely seen it on the streets – cars and trucks in a vinyl wrapping that represent the next stream of marketing and advertising. Mobile businesses like Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck and Shampooch have utilized the unique services of the award-winning Canawrap to advance their advertising methods.

“Companies are now realizing that they need to market their brand, communicating to people visually,” Glen, President of Vancouver-based Canawrap, told The Canadian Business Journal.

Formerly operating a company that produced real estate graphics and marketing packages for the U.S. market, Glen was in attendance at the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) Expo in Las Vegas in 2009 when he decided to found Canawrap.

“I had a realization that [wrapping] is an enormous marketing and advertising potential for businesses,” Glen said, “and it was something I could do because of my history in design and graphic production. Grassroots marketing and advertising is something that is very deep-rooted in me. I love guerrilla marketing and getting out the branding.”

Geared for Growth

Like most entrepreneurial startups, Canawrap’s first year in operation was lean, but it was only one year later when the company began witnessing the value and success of its model. Canawrap has now hit the ground running, with 90 per cent of its business focused on vehicle wraps – the remainder on architectural and banner advertising. The company performs all of its design, production, and installation in-house.

Glen commented, “Canawrap is a resource for advertising and marketing solutions in the form of a vehicle wrap for companies of all sizes. We know how to speak advertising and marketing and that’s what Canawrap has been built on.”

In just two short years, Canawrap has established itself within the Greater Vancouver and British Columbia markets, with plans to further expand its operational reach. Canawrap plans to build on its strengths to achieve its exciting growth aspirations.

“The biggest goal right now is that we want to spread. Western Canada is our biggest focus. There is a lot of room for a company like ourselves where we want to be the absolute best in the market,” Glen said.

The company has also established a presence in Alberta and has plans to add a production facility in the province in an effort to build the Canawrap brand in Alberta. Glen also believes there is still room for growth in the British Columbia market, and will look to solidify this and the Alberta market before potentially expanding to the lucrative Ontario market and Eastern Canada further down the road.

“A lot of businesses are looking for competitive edges and ways of communicating visually, and where to put their dollars where they will see a return,” Glen summarized. “Marketing, advertising, and word of mouth is clearly paying off.”

Brand Building

The success of Canawrap has reached the next level in 2012, something Glen is quick to attribute to the quality and craftsmanship his team puts into each project. Not only does Canawrap offer unique designs, but all of its installations are also covered by warranty to ensure ongoing customer support. Canawrap believes the same investment it puts into a project is eventually realized in the Canawrap business itself.

Although a newer industry, Canawrap has established its competitive edge with a focus on brand building. Canawrap focuses on the results of effective and impactful brand awareness.

“It’s easy to wrap, but we want to advertise, market, and build a brand in the form of a vehicle wrap,” Glen explained. “We design for the strongest results of your brand. Canawrap fits nicely into that niche working with businesses, as we’ve always kept our focus on knowing exactly what we’re trying to build. We’re showing that we will be around for a long time and that we’re serious about what we do.

“From an advertising and marketing perspective, there is a psychology to our wraps; we know what draws an eye to a wrapped vehicle. Customers want our look and feel.”

Mobile Messaging

Canawrap’s service builds not only brand, but business. The customer base of Canawrap is primarily focused on the trades – an industry where vehicle wrapped advertising is a perfect fit with the fleets of vehicles on Canadian roads. That scope has now broadened to include other businesses like food trucks and design companies, among others.

“Almost every business has a vehicle, and my theory is that it is the most expensive part of the business, because you don’t make a return on it. It’s a looming expense in the business model,” Glen concluded. “The minute you flip and invest a little money into it, you’re driving your brand and communicating your brand to the public. You’ve just turned it around, turning an expense into an investment that is marketing your business.

“Right now there is such an enormous focus on digitally mobile communications, and this sits in that same model where it’s mobile messaging. It’s going where you’re going.”