Grafico Helps Green Dot See Green in the FSC Retail Channel
When the undisputed prepaid card category leader Green Dot decided to expand its distribution channels beyond mass merchandisers to Financial Service Centers (FSCs), they contacted the industry marketing experts, Grafico Marketing Group. While Green Dot had millions of active cardholders on its platform, its traditional retail distribution had been accomplished primarily through mass merchandising chains such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Pharmacies, Grocery Stores and Supermarkets. This retailing strategy had always relied upon a self-service model where consumers would pick up a secure-packed card from a slot wall or freestanding end cap display and bring it to the cashier to activate and load through a MoneyPak. The FSC channel was very different in the sense that these stores, typically check cashing or small loan providers seldom if ever displayed actual merchandise for sale in the areas where consumers accessed like the store lobbies. Instead, any products sold were kept behind the counter and often times behind secured, thick bullet-resistant glass where the tellers or customer service reps were located. Any product or services sold required these store associates to act as a sales person, presenting the product to consumers, activating the card and loading cash onto it and then handing the product to the customer.
Green Dot’s approach to this unique category was to test the placement of actual card product in the lobbies, fully accessible to the customers to test their theory that if the customer could touch and feel the product, it could provide them with a competitive advantage over all other cards offered in these stores from behind the “glass”. Realizing that the company knew very little about this new category and how it was dramatically different from previous retail strategies, Green Dot hired Grafico to act as a marketing consultant to provide industry background, integrate into the ongoing marketing plans of its target pilot partners in New York – all current Grafico clients – and design solutions for merchandising this live product across the exterior, transitional and transactional zones of these unique retail locations. The solutions were a combination of exterior-facing signs and entry graphics, lobby displays to mount dimensionally from the wall to differentiate from flat, 2-D posters and to accommodate J-hooks for displaying actual product that the consumer could take to the transaction window to activate. Special displays were also developed to be integrated right into the transaction zone on the outside of the teller line, also to accommodate the placement of product right at the point of transaction.
Grafico also worked with Green Dot to develop a special Launch Meeting to introduce all of the initial two pilot companies’ front line employees to the product and provide for a training event to show them how the product works and best practices to present it to the customers. Grafico consulted on the sales training processes, procedures and presentation development and staged an off-site luncheon meeting for more than 100 associates. Finally, Grafico fabricated and installed all of the merchandising materials across two pilot launches, one with three different firms totaling 194 locations. This function included fabricating the items, shipping to a local merchandising resource, specifying the item mix and placement of all merchandising displays and overseeing and documenting the installation of these devices into the pilot locations. Subsequent rollouts involved individual store packages drop shipped to nearly 200 locations throughout the country with illustrated installation instructions for store staff to install on their own.
Grafico continues to support this client with value engineering and mass production of display materials to support their continued expansion into the category. Grafico also helped to direct the marketing strategy to introduce the company to the category at the annual FiSCA Conference and Exposition in October 2013 and has been instrumental in connecting Green Dot with many of its clients or other network contacts developed from over 20 years of service to the category.
Green Dot / Grafico Accomplishments
- Retail site analysis and opportunity studies for store merchandising strategies
- Unique solutions for placement of actual product into customer areas of the stores
- Scalable system of inexpensive store displays designed exclusively for this category
- Insights and introductions to the category operations and major players in the space
- Assist with development of trade show plan to make a “big splash” at national industry conference
- Support the fabrication, distribution and installation logistics for a variety of implementation strategies