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Signage company bundles digital display offerings

Freshwater Digital package cuts out up-front costs for business owners.

November 4, 2016
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Freshwater Digital
The digital signage package includes everything from commercial television screens and mounting kits to cloud-based content management and customizable templates. Courtesy Freshwater Digital

A local digital signage and media production company has developed a new product bundle that will give businesses an affordable option for digital displays.

Freshwater Digital is a Grand Rapids-based creative firm that offers custom content, video production, content management and technology and consulting for network strategy.

Its newest product, Fresh Sign, is a digital signage bundle available for a flat monthly fee of $120, $125 or $140 per month, depending on the size of the TV screen selected.

Matt Downey, president of Freshwater Digital, said Fresh Sign includes the following seven components: a 43-, 49- or 55-inch LG commercial television screen for $120, $125 or $140 per month; the mounting kit; professional installation; cloud-based content management software; a library of content to choose from, including customizable templates, menu boards for restaurants, logos, colors and background schemes; assistance in making sure the right content is on the screens; and customer service.

Downey said while many of its customers are large companies, such as Meijer, Steelcase and SpartanNash, the product is aimed at any business that is developing digital signage networks or networks of connected media players, content management systems and screens.

“The idea is to lower the playing field so any mom and pop place can use our technology,” he said. “Really, it’s for virtually any business. Retail, office buildings, medical, education, automotive dealerships, garages, manufacturers, warehousing, transportation — any employer that has an employee they want to communicate with.”

The biggest benefit of the Fresh Sign package, Downey said, is that it takes away “the up-front capital expense for clients.”

“Instead of going out and buying all the equipment themselves, they can have everything they need in a 36-month lease,” he said. “The reason we did 36 months is the screens we purchased are LG screens, and they have a 36-month warranty. If there’s ever a problem, we will have the screens serviced by the manufacturer within the warranty period.”

Jon Dodge, executive vice president for business development at Freshwater Digital, said the company believes it has settled on a fair, reasonable price for Fresh Sign.

“From a pricing perspective, we found it’s useful to make associations with a cell phone bill or a cable bill for a point of reference,” he said, noting they are about the same monthly fee as Fresh Sign.

Dodge said the Fresh Sign package was a new idea in the industry.

“We are the only supplier in the digital signage space that provides this package,” he said.

Dave Haynes, a digital signage industry expert, consultant and owner of industry blog sixteen-nine.net, said Fresh Sign is meeting a widespread need for business owners.

“End-users big and small want someone else to sweat the day-to-day of their digital displays, and they greatly prefer one vendor and one back to pat (or) one throat to choke, as opposed to several vendors who point fingers at each other,” he said, speaking of the customer service component of the package.

Downey said Freshwater Digital has experienced “double-digit” sales growth since he founded it in 2010. Last year, the company moved from a 5,600-square-foot space to a 25,000-square-foot location at 2255 29th St. SE in Grand Rapids.

Freshwater has hired three new employees to support the addition of Fresh Sign and is in the process of hiring three to five more.

“As (Fresh Sign) expands, there’s opportunity to hire dozens more in 2017 and even more beyond that,” Downey said.

“Obviously, we’re excited about this,” he said. “There’s a very low barrier to entry, because people don’t have to pay the up-front cost.”

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