Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

FastSigns CEO Catherine Monson on Co-branding

Published on November 9, 2012

CEO of FastSigns Catherine Monson talks with Eric Vessels about their recently announced co-branding program for existing printers wanting to get into the wide format space.

Eric Vessels: Hi, it's Eric Vessles with WhatTheyThink, and I'm here with Catherine Monson, who is CEO of FASTSIGNS.

Catherine Monson: It's good to be with you, Eric.

Eric Vessels: Thanks for talking with us. I understand recently at GraphExpo you guys made an announcement about your co-branding opportunity. A program for existing printers who want to get into the wide format space.

Catherine Monson: We sure did. For about three years now we've been focused on converting existing sign shops to FASTSIGNS and through that process we had printing centers come to us, folks in the sheet-fed space, asking to convert but still also wanting to be in the printing space. So about a year and a half ago we converted our – not converted, we co-branded with our first printing center and if you go to his location in Pittsburg, on one side of the building it says Kromhaly's Printing and on the other side of the building it says FASTSIGNS and you walk in to his location and there's a FASTSIGN showroom and then there's the reception desk for Kromhaly Printing. It has worked out very well with him and as we thought about that, we thought well why don't we take this opportunity, which we tested with this one gentlemen, and take it to the industry. So this last GraphExpo was our first time really taking this co-branding opportunity to the printing space, we exhibited at GraphExpo. We had a press release. We had an invitation only lunch, and I have to tell you had some really good response. One of the things that occurs in our conversations with sign shops thinking about converting is there's an emotional attachment to the name that they have to overcome, if they're going to become a FASTSIGNS. But with a printing center, since it's a co-brand instead, there's not that difficulty of giving up the name or making the change of name. Already we have several folks that we're having very serious conversations with and we think this is going to be a very successful program. It allows them to continue to be in the printing business under their existing brand and then they can use the FASTSIGNS name and all of our training, all our tools, all of our marketing, all of our resources to really grow into the wide format signal and visual graphic space. So we're excited about it.

Eric Vessels: So is there a hesitance still to have the mixed branding or you finding, obviously, it's easier than giving up your brand and taking on a new one. Is there still a barrier there?

Catherine Monson: We have not encountered that barrier. What we found is talking to printers at GraphExpo was a lot of excitement about this opportunity. If you take a look at the sheet-fed small format business and the signal and visual graphics business, certainly there are buyers in common, but there are a lot of buyers of wide format point-of-purchase materials, fleet graphics, way finding signal that are different than who you're selling printing to. And a lot of printers have had a very difficult time engaging those buyers and knowing what to say if they want to get in to wide format. They're really just selling wide format kind of as an extra piece to an existing customer. Someone says, "Can you do posters, banners, and signs?" And they, "Sure." Well we're going to bring them through our entire training program, we're going to teach them how to sell the vast range of visual graphics and signal and let them really grow a brand new revenue stream for their business.

Eric Vessels: Right.

Catherine Monson: And we've seen a lot of excitement and expect that we're going to have several sales close before the end of the year.

Eric Vessels: So instead of just going after vertical sales and increasing business with their existing customers, they're actually –

Catherine Monson: Diversifying.

Eric Vessels: They're separating the brands and getting a whole new customer base.

Catherine Monson: And then they have some great economies of scale because their outside salespeople who are selling sheet-fed can also be outside selling the signal and visual graphics and the wide format work. And we'll teach those outside salespeople who to go after to sell the large format, the wide format, and the visual graphics.

Eric Vessels: And that's always a barrier, is the training salespeople, the approach, and it's a little bit of a different market than your traditional printing.

Catherine Monson: It is. And one of the things we do at FASTSIGNS is we have a very robust outside sales training program for the outside salespeople of our franchisees. We hold an annual sales training conference. We've got conference calls and webinars constantly 'cause we know that is the hardest position to fill. I was in the sheet-fed printing industry for 28 years before I came to FASTSIGNS and I know it's the most difficult position to hire and to maintain and to grow. So we want to provide those tools to our franchisees.

Eric Vessels: Well that's an exciting program and we'll look forward to seeing how you do with that.

Catherine Monson: Well, I'm looking forward to getting together with you this time next year and reporting great success.

Eric Vessels: All right. Sounds good.

Catherine Monson: All right. Thanks.

Email Icon Email         

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: PGSF Scholarship Recipient Colby Kibbe Talks About Finding a Career in the Industry

PGSF Scholarship Recipient Colby Kibbe Talks About Finding a Career in the Industry

Published: October 19, 2017

Colby Kibbe a PGSF scholarship recipient and now a Project Manager at EFI talks about what drew him to the industry. Scholarship and internship programs influenced his interest and growth in the industry.

 

Video preview: Bookmasters Turns to Digital and Production Inkjet for Its Book Printing Ops

Bookmasters Turns to Digital and Production Inkjet for Its Book Printing Ops

Published: October 18, 2017

Ken Fultz General Manager at Bookmasters talks about how production inkjet printing is changing book production. Bookmasters has gone through three transitions offset to digital toner to production inkjet. Hear their story.

 

Video preview: Professor Erica Walker on Guiding Students into Careers in Print

Professor Erica Walker on Guiding Students into Careers in Print

Published: October 17, 2017

Dr. Erica Walker an Assistant Professor in the Department of Graphic Communications at Clemson University talks about attracting students to the industry and helping them match career goals with different training and education levels.

 

Video preview:

"Have You Heard the Cover"

Published: October 16, 2017

Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano talk about the production of a special edition of their new book The Third Wave that included interactive print elements.

 

Video preview: Frank Visits Strategic Factory

Frank Visits Strategic Factory

Published: October 13, 2017

Keith Miller took a small print shop and grew it into an $18 Million super shop called Strategic Factory. He changed the concept of what a printer is. Call the company what you wish but they still put imagery on all kinds of substrates for marketing applications.

 

Video preview: Darwill Continues its Inkjet Journey with Océ ProStream 1000

Darwill Continues its Inkjet Journey with Océ ProStream 1000

Published: October 12, 2017

Chicago-based Darwill will be the first US company to install the Océ ProStream 1000. The company selected the ProStream to fulfill customer demand for high quality color applications on coated stock. Mark Deboer talks about how critical it is to have networking and peer education at events like thINK have helped them get up to speed on the evolving production inkjet ecosystem.

 

View More Videos

 

Wide Format Editor

Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved