CANWEL BUILDING MATERIALS

Friends enjoying a backyard patio in the summer
Canwel Building Materials Logo

Client

Canwel Building Materials

Website

canwel.com

Year

2019

Category

Industry

Background

You’d be forgiven if building materials aren’t what come to mind when you think of ‘innovation’. For most, the word conjures up images of futuristic robots, sleek spaceships, and self-driving cars. The truth is, however, that for every Ars Technica article covering Elon Musk’s latest fever dream there are thousands of less-celebrated organizations taking great pains to create change in the face of years of industry stagnation.

This is the case for CanWel Building Materials, one of North America’s largest building materials and distribution companies. For CanWel, innovation has meant decades of delivering exceptional service, industry-leading HR policies, and executing an ambitious strategy of mergers and acquisitions.

The hard work paid off. But, 31 years into its journey, CanWel, a publicly-traded, multi-billion dollar company, found itself with a problem. Despite being a well-respected industry leader, its diversified portfolio and innovative spirit weren’t translating online. As a result, the company was having difficulty attracting a new generation of digitally-savvy talent, partners, and customers.

Services

  • Website Design
  • WordPress Development
  • Copywriting
  • French Translation
  • Social Media Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Collateral
website screens for Canwel Building Material
Product page example for Canwel Building Materials

Defining Project Success

Our partnership with CanWel began by getting crystal clear on the organization’s history, present and future ambitions.

Interviews with key members of its team, as well as customers and partners, confirmed what we suspected: 

    1. The organization’s diverse portfolio resulted in confusion. With so many subsidiaries, prospective employees, customers, and investors had a hard time understanding what CanWel was, its services, and most importantly, what it stood for. CanWel needed a manner to communicate its organizational structure in a clear and intuitive way.

 

  1. An outdated website and integrations with older technologies hindered CanWel’s ability to sell its product in a way that reflected the quality its customers had come to expect. CanWel needed a leading-edge website that delivered a bullet-proof experience and promoted its products in a visually compelling way.

Designed for the Many

After a deep exploration of CanWel’s competitive landscape, its existing brand, and how it needs to live in the wild, we landed on a minimal aesthetic that places CanWel’s beautiful products front and centre.

Stunning photography, clean lines, and ample white space leave plenty of breathing room, and allow users to easily navigate the new site without being inundated by large amounts of text.

Because the website was built to adhere to WCAG 2.1 website accessibility standards, its colours are optimized for those with visual impairment, and way-finding is assisted with intuitive breadcrumbs.

 

Showcasing the Product

A major pain point with CanWel’s old site was its product catalog; a third-party tool that, page by page, translated the brand’s physical product brochure into a PDF flip-book. In addition to not being responsive, the flip-book wasn’t editable, making it impossible for CanWel’s internal team to update product descriptions.

Our solution was a robust product search, with two custom-built product detail pages that can be selected depending on the product’s detail requirements.

In addition to containing invaluable product information, new functionality was created, such as a “Related Products” and “Product Resources” section.

Built to Last

With a beautiful new website to drive customers and prospective hires to, CanWel needed a social media strategy to match–something that brought their culture and commitment to quality to the forefront.

Massive’s designers and content strategists went to work creating social media templates and a content plan for CanWel’s internal team to execute.

Custom social media templates were created using Canva, empowering CanWel’s team with the design assets needed to continue posting without the help of an external party.

From the Client

“The new website has seen an increase in high-quality traffic, with users spending more time on pages. Massive Media leverages creativity and technical expertise to create high-quality products that fit the needs and requirements of the client. The team is personable and knowledgable. It felt like they were as invested in our success as we were”

– Matthew, IT Applications Supervisor