2019 has been an incredible year of monumental changes and extreme growth for Driverseat.
We launched in the U.S.
2019 brought perhaps one of the most significant milestones we have hit in our history. After only 6 years of franchising in Canada, we awarded the first U.S. territories. Located in Middle Tennessee (Nashville area), the first U.S. location is solely owned by woman, another major milestone that we are very proud of. We look forward to significant growth in the U.S., fuelled by the increasing demand for our innovative shuttle solutions.
We underwent a brand evolution.
Since our launch in 2012, we have made incremental improvements to our branding, but the essence of the brand remained consistent through these changes, which were nearly unnoticeable. In 2019, we executed a more significant brand evolution strategy, making modifications to the core colour palette (eliminating grey as a primary component), improving the logo, creating more logo variations, and developing an enhanced brand guideline which our franchisees can use to produce spectacular marketing materials.
While every brand needs to evolve and enhance their image over time, we were so pleased to have been able to leave the brand essence in tact while reshaping some of the details to better reflect where we are as a company in 2019.
We refocused marketing for potential franchisees.
Statistically, we have always surpassed industry averages as it pertains to the number of leads (interested parties) we receive for a franchise, and the number of leads that result in a new franchise (close rate). In 2019, we refocused our marketing efforts to attract more great entrepreneurs to our brand from across Canada and the U.S. These new efforts have resulted in triple digit growth in both the number of leads we have generated, as well as the number of new franchise territories that are being awarded. On our current trajectory, we will sell out of Canadian territories rather quickly, and we will see exponential growth in the number of franchise units in the U.S.
This is important, because growth in the number of franchises that are open also results in increased sales for each open franchise. This is known as Unit Economics and in franchising, Unit Economics is a major indicator of business health. More locations mean more sales in each location, which results in more locations, and the cycle continues.
We look forward to what 2020 will bring. Our mission to create opportunities for like-minded entrepreneurs is alive and well. Supported by our core values and commitment to our team, we have a recipe that, if followed, results in an extremely strong business for our franchise partners.