Petitti Garden Centers is a regional chain of gardening stores serving the Northeast Ohio area. Built on the reputation of its founder, Angelo Petitti, who opened the company’s first store in 1971, the company is now celebrating its 50th year in business. Its nine locations comprise roughly 500,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor retail space, offering many opportunities for branding and retail-focused messaging. Further, the company has an extensive fleet of vehicles ranging from vans to tractor-trailers. As the company has expanded, it has counted on the branding assistance and expertise of its go-to print provider, Visual Marking Systems, and Avery Dennison, whose graphics-focused materials have been essential in delivering thoughtful, visually-striking, store-wide branding to the company’s stores.
Visual Marking Systems (VMS) is a widely diversified graphics producer offering wide-format digital graphics, customized screen printing, branding, product identification, apparel and vehicle wraps. VMS began working in partnership with Petitti Garden Centers nearly two decades ago, when it was engaged to help brand the company’s trucks using cut-vinyl graphics. As VMS followed changing technology into digital graphics, Petitti Garden Centers saw the new capabilities of digital print and accepted a more graphically-rich approach. Today, VMS regularly fulfills the company’s needs for vehicle and wall graphics. About the company’s ongoing collaboration with VMS, President A.J. Petitti says, “They’ve always done a great job, and they’re always thinking of ways to take it outside the box. They’re not afraid of a challenge. For our company and its brand,” he says, “we want graphics that will connect this family and the company to the customers and show the progression of the business. For instance, our fleet graphics show our products and facilities, and really sell beauty and lifestyle.”
“Avery Dennison has always been our go-to film,” says Ron Gizzo, Chief Operating Officer at VMS. “They’ve always worked for us. At first, we worked extensively with Avery Dennison’s technical team, conducting periodic check-ins. It really helped us build a relationship with them.” The VMS team describes the unique requirements sought by the garden centers. For their fleets, they expect graphics that will hold up for more than five years, and for their retail settings, they have many outdoor graphics that need to stand up to weather and direct sun exposure. Through hot summers, snowy winters, and varied conditions, the Avery Dennison corporate branding products sourced by VMS firmly meet the customer’s needs.
The ability for Avery Dennison’s materials to stand up to the elements comes as no surprise to Cindy Richards, the company’s Regional Technical Specialist for US and Canada. She highlighted the fact that the company conducts extensive lab work “to dial in true expectations of the total installation. We collect data from artificial and real-world tests. From this, we can pinpoint regions in three zones around the world, to address the expectations of printed material.” For graphics companies like VMS, Avery Dennison’s technical support is an essential part of navigating the many products available — it’s all about finding the right material for the job.
Currently, Petitti Garden Centers has a fleet of thirty different vehicles with graphic wraps, a branding method that puts the company’s identity out on the road, sharing its messaging across Northeastern Ohio. “The graphics are changed-out pretty frequently,” says Tim Fontana, VMS’s Sales Director, National Fleet Graphics, “and we’re running two different designs for their 16’ and 20’ delivery trucks. Some of the graphics have been out there for about eight years, and they’re still looking good.” As a graphics producer, VMS has moved strongly into digitally-printed fleet and vehicle graphics in the last decade, offering a full-service approach that includes installation. For them, reliability and consistency of graphic materials serves to ease the challenge of many jobs. Using materials that production teams and installers know and understand – right from the start – is a great benefit to companies like them.
Avery Dennison’s Cindy Richards also highlights the many resources the company maintains to help graphics producers source appropriate materials and do the job right. Among these resources is a series of Instruction Bulletins that cover graphic application topics ranging from surface preparation, to painted walls, to stainless steel. Further, Avery Dennison maintains a useful online checklist that helps graphics producers find the right materials and gain the positive results they seek. Beyond that, Avery Dennison provides first-hand support. In fact, the company’s Sales Manager, Michael Herrick, worked directly with the VMS team, even undertaking an onsite visit to provide direct member support.
As a part of Petitti Garden Center’s fiftieth anniversary celebration, VMS worked with A.J. Petitti to print and install a massive wall mural, which was placed in the company’s Canton, OH store. The mural, which presents a visual timeline of the expansion of the company over its half-century, was presented as a surprise to founder Angelo Petitti. “We also printed a smaller version of the mural on canvas, framed it and gave it to Angelo,” says VMS CEO Dolf Kahle, “It was really special, and a great way to celebrate our long partnership together.”
Partnerships are essential in successful graphic projects – a symbiotic sharing of resources, ideas, and solutions between customer, print provider, and materials manufacturer. As solutions providers, graphics producers are regularly challenged to realize customer expectations. Through its work with Petitti Garden Centers, VMS has benefitted from Avery Dennison’s technical expertise, and from graphic films that fulfill and exceed client expectations. “Trust and transparency are key in building the type of relationship we have with VMS,” says Cindy Richards.” It doesn’t happen overnight. From sales, to technical, to marketing, we make ourselves available to build a long-standing partnership."
This article was originally posted by Wide Format Impressions on 7/8/2020.