Features | December 03, 2019
Outfoxing the Competition
In today’s always-changing business environment, “foxes” are companies that stay ahead of market trends, driving change and helping organizations adapt with solutions to complex challenges.
For Indiana-based Spry Inc., a PSDA member distributor formerly known as FF&S, the fox in its logo represents in part that commitment to refining and enhancing its offerings, such as design services, to meet customers’ evolving needs. And what better way to illustrate that than to rebrand itself, emphasizing its agility and ability to be what it calls a “brand optimization partner”?
Spry President and CEO Jeff Williams and Chief Innovation Officer Amy Baker had long held interest in a separate creative agency, but they eventually saw great opportunity in bringing the agency’s services in house.
“At Spry, we’ve always had an eye toward forward-thinking brand optimization and creativity. However, we have not always had an in-house agency or team,” Baker says. “Our business has been steadily growing over the past several years, both in customers and the solutions we offer. We made a strategic decision to merge our creative agency into the Spry business in an effort to create a more seamless customer experience and position us for growth.”
That effort clearly has paid off. In PS Magazine’s 2019 listings of top distributors, Spry ranked 10th among sellers of marketing and creative services, with 2018 fiscal year sales totaling $200,000.
“We’ve already seen the benefit of this merger and our recent rebrand to Spry,” Baker says. “Our customers are excited about all of our solutions being under one roof and the continuity it provides them. Our team members are excited because they have better clarity about how to provide the best service, as well as the operational efficiencies we’ve gained. We expect to see this continued excitement and excellence as our business matures as the two organizations continue to come together.”
Spry states on its website, “Our Creative Services team takes great pride in helping our customers make disciplined spending decisions that drive business, period.” That means providing brand management solutions that transcend the basics.
“When you think of brand, branding or brand management, you might think of ad agencies, marketing campaigns and customer experience, with a bias toward either ethereal creative projects or the sales slicks, pens and clothing where your logo shows up,” Baker says. “We think your brand is bigger than that. It includes those things, but your brand is really everything about the way your business runs — who you are no matter where a person encounters you.”
At Spry, digital design is an obvious area of focus, but design for print remains integral to client brand development and management.
“Our in-house agency works across all expressions of the brand, from digital to physical to operational,” Baker says. “While digital does dominate many marketing discussions, we see print design and the physical brand expression as an equal partner in representing the brand. And, in many cases, it is the printed expression of the brand that lives the longest if it’s beautifully designed and serves a useful purpose.”
Having a creative services team well-versed in digital and print design facilitates impactful partnerships with Spry’s clients.
“By having a strong creative team in-house, we’re able to collaborate more effectively, communicate more efficiently, and create the most compelling brand experiences because we have the variety of domain experts working closely together to serve our clients,” Baker says. “For print, this means we have experts who bring the latest thinking in paper selection, printing techniques and embellishments working closely with our art directors who understand the core tenants of the client’s brand and brand expression.”
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