17 September 2020
Brands are built over time, and creating specific promotions and branding efforts for a business can pay big dividends in the long run. There are several different channels business owners can use to promote the uniqueness of their brand. However, it is easier said than done. While most have a good sense of one or two areas in which their brand may need help, they may find it difficult to identify all the factors they should be considering to make it excel as a whole. At the end of the day, setting oneself apart from a million others who offer similar products and services can be a daunting task, and many may even be left scratching their heads, wondering how to take that first step.
This is where the experts at Fully Promoted step in. The shop works with a wide range of industries, offering unique solutions to shape a brand’s personality. Its motto is simple yet powerful: If you can imagine it, there is a good chance we can do it.
Sign Media Canada recently spoke with Megan McGregor, marketing and general manager at Fully Promoted in Peterborough, Ont., to learn more about the shop’s history, screenprinting process, recent projects, and how the team intends to keep ahead of the game in a constantly evolving and competitive landscape.
Sign Media Canada (SMC): What is the history of the shop?
Megan McGregor (MM): Our shop is an independently owned and operated franchise, one of approximately 300 worldwide. We are a one-stop marketing company that strives to help businesses tell their unique stories through a range of branded promotional items, such as embroidered apparel and screenprinted mugs, and digital services, including website design and social media management.
Our store is relatively new; we are only in our second year of operation. However, the Fully Promoted Canada franchise has been operating since 2000 and has a proven process.
SMC: What makes your company unique?
MM: Ours was the first Fully Promoted franchise to have partnered with Signarama, a full-service sign and advertising services provider, under the same roof. Signarama shares the same principles and culture as our company, and has served the local community for more than 16 years.
SMC: How large is the facility?
MM: Fully Promoted and Signarama run out of the same 929-m2 (10,000-sf) facility in Peterborough. Currently, we have eight full-time employees between the two companies.
Not only does sharing resources and print equipment contribute to savings for our clients, but it also allows the sister companies to work together to cater to the local community’s signage, apparel, graphic design, and digital needs.
SMC: What type of screenprinting projects does your shop primarily work on?
MM: We specialize in all types of screenprinting projects, from corporate branded apparel and fashion brands to promotional T-shirts for large events. In addition to screenprinting, we also offer embroidery, heat transfer vinyl, laser, and direct-to-garment (DTG) printing through our trusted suppliers.
SMC: How much of the screenprinting process is handled in-house?
MM: We design and set up the orders, and the screenprinting fulfillment is completed by our shop’s decoration hub. This process guarantees premium quality and quick turnaround times. Thanks to the existing signage equipment in our facility, we also have the ability to produce orders in-house using other methods such as heat transfer.
SMC: What does your planning and design process involve?
MM: The first step in our planning and design process involves communicating with our customers to understand their requirements. We listen to their vision and become an extension of their marketing team. From choosing products of their choice to selecting the best decoration method that is befitting of their logo, we work closely with our clients, every step of the way, to create products that suit their needs. This is truly the best part of owning a promotional marketing business—you feel like you work for the best companies. For a lot of our customers, we are their marketing department. We love working with companies of all sizes to bring their brand’s story to life.
SMC: How is technology changing your business?
MM: In the garment design and promotional business, new technology and products are being released every day. A logo can be added to merchandise in a hundred different ways. Therefore, we are constantly devising new ideas and products and continuing our education to excel in the industry.
One of the newest methods of apparel decoration is DTG, which takes up less floor space, reduces labour, and offers customers infinite colour options and design reproduction possibilities. Although screenprinting/silk screening requires more set-up time compared to digital printing or heat transfer, it will always remain popular as it is the most economical method for producing large orders with superior results.
SMC: What is the key to staying successful in this industry?
MM: There are multiple ways to succeed in this industry which, of course, can be applied to any business. We firmly believe quality, consistency, and communication are key to achieving progress.
A lot can go awry during the decoration process. Therefore, quality control is critical to ensure the customer is proud to flaunt their branded products. Ultimately, a company’s clients become its walking portfolio, and word of mouth is of paramount importance to establish one’s reputation in this industry.
Next, maintaining clear, ongoing channels of communication with customers and staff is vital to the success of any project.
We also rely on new suppliers to be experts in the latest products and decoration methods and continuously learn from them.
Further, attending trade shows and online seminars is an educational way to stay ahead of the game and also provides businesses new, unique ideas to market their brand.
SMC: What are the future plans for your business?
MM: In the next two years, we will focus on building our franchise by adding more sales representatives, enhancing our online presence, and launching our new e-commerce website. We want to be able to compete with the ever-increasing pool of online-based competitors, and build our brand to be the trusted marketing partner for businesses.
SMC: How has COVID-19 affected your business? Are there any tips/best practices you can share to help industry professionals get through these difficult times?
MM: We have been extremely fortunate as we were able to pivot to PPE rather quickly. Our customers had a sudden void, and we took the fight-or-flight response to fulfil that need. We were able to source fair-priced products and offer COVID-19 kits, which included directional vinyl stickers, clear acrylic barriers, and face shields produced in-house with our Signarama equipment.
That said, we have continued to provide branded apparel for clients; however, a significant portion of our business has involved helping companies become COVID-19 compliant during these uncertain times.
SMC: Has your shop produced any COVID-19-related signage?
MM: We have produced several COVID-19-related signs, apparel, and even a bus wrap. We also came up with the ‘Support Signs and Apparel’ initiative to bring a little joy to the community and thank frontline workers. The signs expressed gratitude to essential workers, and the T-shirts had funny sayings encouraging people to stay home and stay safe. Five dollars from each sale of our support items were donated to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) COVID-19 Response. We were able to donate more than $2000 to our local hospital.
Source URL: https://www.signmedia.ca/fully-promoted-helping-brands-get-noticed/
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