Tree Towns focused on retailers such as small grocers, butcher shops, auto parts stores and pet suppliers that utilize disposable signage featuring up-to-the-minute pricing, special promotions and limited-time offers to drive customer sales. “Basically, we looked for any place where the graphic was going to change frequently,” Wingard said.
After experimenting with different sales approaches, Tree Towns’ sales representatives have developed a successful formula. Before talking to the store manager, they physically scout out a retail location to see what the existing signage looks like, how it’s displayed and how Tree Towns can enhance it. Back at Tree Towns, they would create a few templates and print sample signs in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. Signage examples in hand, they then return to the retail location and meet with the store manager to visually demonstrate how Tree Towns can assist in improving in-store marketing and merchandising.
“We show the managers the difference we can make, and that we know a little about how their business works,” Wingard said. “The selling process is different than AEC, but once you’ve got the manager interested and involved, you’ve pretty much taken care of the selling side.”
Fast Turnaround, Immediate Impact
The printer made it easy for Tree Towns to produce customized short-term signage, minimizing turnaround time. “We’re constantly looking for better, more efficient ways to get the end product to customers, and that’s where the Océ ColorWave 600 printer has always been able to shine for us,” Wingard said. “We can quickly RIP the file, print it and deliver the finished product. That keeps our production staff and our customers happy.”
He also appreciates how the printer helps keep production costs low and print production capacity high, allowing him to maximize pricing flexibility. “The faster we can get a job in and out, the more flexible we can be on pricing. And the more flexible our pricing, the more customers are going to order. That’s the way we look at it,” Wingard said.
The equipment has not only helped Tree Towns’ diversify its revenue stream—it has also increased it. “The beauty of it is that when a retailer is changing out the signage, it’s in multiple units, and it changes perhaps every week. There’s nothing quite like coming in on Monday morning and seeing a queue full of print orders,” Wingard said. “I like the recurring volume and recurring revenue stream.”
At the same time, Wingard credits the Océ solution with boosting business across the spectrum. “Customers are adapting to it more and more, even in the AEC world. And we’re selling it more, using a variety of marketing techniques to heighten awareness of what we are truly able to do,” he said. “We’re able to offer a cost effective solution to a marketplace that really needs this type of signage.”
Wingard sees even more business-building possibilities on the horizon. “We’re starting to talk about where else we can go with this. We’re planning to put together some templates here in the shop for people to look at when they come up to the counter. These premade signs could be for a meeting, a birthday or an anniversary. Customers can literally put together anything they need for a quick sign and wait for it,” he said.
“That’s something I really like with this particular product package. Before, we couldn’t do that in the inkjet world. We had to RIP the file, wait for the sign to dry, maybe have it mounted or laminated. Now we have customers waiting for color graphics at our front counter. They were never able to do that before.”