Fitness Brand Finds an Easier Collateral Print Management Solution
September 8, 2021
Bestype Printing NYC Makes Signage Simple for Franchise Partners
A National Value-Fitness Brand — Client Profile
Bestype’s client is a fitness franchise chain: a national brand owned by a larger, global, luxury health club operator. Making its corporate headquarters in the design-driven heart of midtown Manhattan, our client offers premium fitness club memberships at affordable prices. Lifestyle aesthetics feature in all of the client’s marketing materials and collateral.
Our client reaches out to everyone who wants to be healthy and enjoys working out in uplifting spaces. The clubs’ mission statement offers a gym membership for everyone, regardless of body type or fitness level. The company wants to bring all the benefits of exercise to as many people as possible and have fun while doing it.
The chain has become one of the fastest-growing value-fitness brands in its category during its ten-year history. By the end of 2019, it planned to expand to 100 locations across the United States. Each club’s interior design is a part of the chain’s appeal. Clubs incorporate sophisticated, luxe theming and use colors selected to motivate and inspire. Each location evokes the idea of the spa as opposed to the gym.
And then, the global pandemic happened. COVID-19 and hi-tech home exercise alternatives re-shaped the gym routines of millions of fitness enthusiasts, including our client’s members. The chain continued to grow its revenue despite these consumer activity changes. Franchise partners kept clubs open where they could, cleaned and sanitized continually, and developed new member retention strategies. Its actions during the pandemic helped it survive and even thrive during 2020 and into the current fiscal year.
The chain uses its distinct lifestyle aesthetic in all forms of marketing collateral. Fonts and carefully selected color palettes blend artfully in the interior design of its locations. Corporate expects its franchise partners to align their collateral designs with the corporate style guide when customizing templates and printing collateral for their locations — small details matter.
Printing Needs and Challenges — Collateral Management
Our client increased printing activity during the pandemic and required its franchise partners to print more collateral for use in their locations — social distancing floor decals, hand sanitizer labels, stanchion sign inserts, and other printed items displayed throughout each club needed to remain consistent with branding. New marketing collateral designed to retain members also needed to adhere to the style guidelines.
The client’s marketing team designed and uploaded these items to their printing vendor’s management and ordering web portal. Franchise managers were expected to keep their printing deliverable costs within the budgets for each club. Our client ultimately wanted each franchise partner to place orders for their clubs and then for a regional manager to oversee and approve these purchases — getting regional managers involved helped control budgets and decreased the tendency to over-buy and overspend.
Our client’s previous print vendor experienced difficulty meeting new challenges and a higher volume of unexpected orders:
- Franchise partners struggled with the vendor’s clunky and outmoded portal. Managers had trouble finding and customizing templates and submitting orders.
- The system was unhelpful in tracking spending. Our client wanted to set order limits and budgets per region, and the vendor’s portal couldn’t accommodate this need.
- The vendor could not provide a process whereby regional managers could approve orders placed by individual gym managers.
- The vendor decided that using a warehouse model for printing and distributing collateral was the most efficient way to allocate items to the individual clubs. Our client had to commit to bulk printing based on projecting their needs each year. Printed items were separated into bulk units and stored until ordered. The vendor charged additional fees, including storage and shipping. Bottlenecks in this system made some signage obsolete by the time it was received, simply because a state’s health guidelines changed between the ordering and delivery dates.
- The warehouse model had other problems. Because the collateral was pre-packaged into unbreakable units for sale, clubs spent more on items they didn’t necessarily need in higher quantities.
Some partners abandoned the vendor’s channel in frustration, independently designing and printing their items using local resources. These items usually did not adhere to corporate style guidelines and looked out-of-place when displayed in the clubs.
How Bestype Helped — Franchise Partner-Focused Solutions
When our client decided to change printing vendors, they found a local NYC printing partner in Bestype.
Through deeply listening to our client’s needs and partnering with them to create collateral management and ordering system that worked for the client and its individual partners, we all benefitted. Bestype’s creative minds re-thought our ordering web portal design and came up with a solution over three months of meetings, planning, and implementation. Together, we created new collateral management and ordering platform that addressed:
- Ease-of-use: Our web designers developed a unique web portal that made searching for and customizing templates easier. We streamlined the entire selection, customization, and ordering process.
- Accurate ordering: managers could order the exact amount of items they needed to refresh their inventory directly from Bestype through a print-on-demand system, which eliminated the extra fees associated with warehouse models.
- Fast shipping: When franchise partners ordered collateral, we would ship it directly instead of using a warehousing system. This usually saves the client money. Fast shipping helped partners display current health and safety information while it was still current, and helped them stay inside style-guide boundaries.
- Spending tracking: the client and its partners now accurately track print spending — knowing which departments are ordering collateral and how much they are spending in each area.
Impact — How Our Collateral Management and Printing Solution Made a Difference
At the end of this process, our client benefitted by reducing time and energy spent by its marketing and operations teams and finding a user-friendly way to enforce its style guides. Finance was able to visualize spending clearly and gained optimal control over collateral printing costs. The franchise partners and staff are now able to order and receive orders faster than before. Bestype enjoyed the challenge of creating a better ordering portal, an experience that helps us support all our clients with unique printing needs.
Reports from our client’s franchise partners indicate that the system we designed works well. Partners have returned to the design playbook — collateral displays exceptional brand integrity.
Because Bestype can fulfill orders directly without warehousing delays, partners can quickly act when they need to print more collateral and change existing signage. They also better understand where their money is going every time they refresh their collateral inventory and order new items.
Ongoing Client Relationships — Building Better Solutions through Cooperation
Our client continues to see their relationship with Bestype as a best-in-class partnership. We improved systems and relationships by redesigning how this company’s collateral management system and ordering portal works.
We accomplished this by putting the client’s franchise owners’ needs first. Bestype partners with our clients every day to produce their brand-shaping collateral — we work with designers, marketers, and creatives who understand that maintaining brand integrity is essential to building a successful company. We are committed to developing a supportive, customer-driven, customer service culture for everyone who needs our help printing their projects. You can call us today to schedule a consultation about your printing needs — we are here to help build your company into the best it can be.
Tags: brand integrity, collateral management, customizing templates, franchise partners, lifestyle aesthetics, maintain brand integrity, marketing collateral, ordering portal, Print Collateral, printing solution, track print spending