An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Chris Loar (co-founder and CEO) of Wrapmate, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Wrapmate – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
When Wrapmate began, we had an entirely different business model than we have today. We initially set out to build the largest lead generation company for the vehicle wrap industry, where we educated businesses on the marketing value of vehicle wraps and created their very own custom wrap design for free with their logo, branding, and relevant company details on it using proprietary technology we built. We called it the “Wrapmate Design Bot”. Customers could proceed with turning that design concept into a reality on their own vehicle, at which point we sent them over to one of our local Wrapmate Pro graphics shops in the form of a lead and the shop would close the customer and complete their project. We soon realized that we could enhance the customer journey through technology, as well as earn much more revenue simply by servicing each customer internally from start to finish, so we adjusted our business model to help put the customer more in control and provide them with simple, intuitive technology that would help customers get their wrap projects done in the most streamlined way possible.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The biggest hurdles we’ve encountered throughout our company’s history have been mostly around educating customers on our nationwide presence and creating a model that offers competitive pricing across all cities and states nationwide as well. The vehicle wrap market varies dramatically across every city and state. Pricing for wraps and graphics could be one price in New York City, but then be entirely different once you leave the metro area and drive just a few miles outside the city. Most wrap shops operate in one region, so they typically have one location and a set pricing structure for that market. With Wrapmate, our office headquarters is in Greenwood Village, but we have over 1,400 local Pro installers in all major markets across all 50 states. Therefore, we’ve had to successfully communicate our nationwide presence and local service capabilities to all customers, while simultaneously building a pricing structure that is dynamic to each individual market in order to offer competitive prices to every customer no matter where they’re located in the United States.
What does the future hold for Wrapmate?
We are a technology company first, so we always have exciting new products, services, and tools in our roadmap in order to keep progressing our industry forward and solving customer challenges in simple but innovative ways. We have several new product offerings being rolled out to help us provide best-in-class vehicle wraps for fleet accounts, franchises, and commercial dealerships that will scale our business to a whole new level. We’re very excited to reach and exceed our goals throughout the course of this year and many years to come.
Additionally, we recently introduced a very special new technology to the vehicle graphics space that we believe will not only shape our company’s future, but the future of our industry as a whole. We released the first ever digital platform for vehicle wrap customers to get exact pricing on their specific vehicle and complete their purchase online from the comfort of their couch. Additionally, we launched a Buy Now, Pay Later solution with a financing partner to bring flexible monthly payment options to customers through our ecommerce experience.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Greenwood Village?
The local tech startup scene in Greenwood Village is alive and well. This city has become very technology forward and has grown exponentially as a hub for innovation, creativity, and people who push the boundaries for what’s possible within our community. Opportunities for networking, recruiting talent, seeking capital, and marketing the business have all been very accessible thanks to our company being headquartered here.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Stay driven and be ready to pivot, shift, or switch directions with your business. What Wrapmate is today wasn’t what it was 3 years ago, and it’s because we adapted quickly. We evaluated the market and quickly made adjustments to accommodate the customer.
And, surround yourself with other team leaders that complement your skills. You don’t need to know everything, but you need to know where you or your company lacks and find the appropriate resources to fulfill those needs.