A long time ago, before I decided large format printing might be a good way of putting bread on the table and clothing the children, I sold cars. I started in the mid eighties selling Fiat’s and I gradually progressed through the manufacturers going to Vauxhall, Renault and Toyota.
I finally ended up selling all manner of prestige and exotic cars at a dealership in London and am very fortunate to have been able to drive some of the fastest and most expensive cars on the planet. I worked there for five delightful years and developed an understanding of prestige cars surpassed only by Jeremy Clarkson and with all of this experience I can tell you one universal, undeniable truth… a Mercedes is better than a Fiat.
Now, admittedly that’s not exactly rocket science but it seems we at Venture Banners had forgotten this simple rule when we acted on market forces to supply a cheap roller banner unit. We looked at several manufacturers, some of the units were simply hideous and we eventually chose to supply what we thought was the best of the bunch, the Origin system.
Now, Venture Banners is a company that has grown on its reputation. Our production departments are second to none and although things don’t always go to plan, we’ve always taken the view that the measure of the company is how quickly we sort problems out. So it was quite a surprise to us when we started to receive problem phone calls about these cheap roller banners; the feet have fallen off; the unit has sprung closed and the graphic has cracked; we can’t get the graphic out and perhaps more worryingly; its sliced my finger when I tried to put it away.
At first we thought these reports were the ramblings of people who had no idea how to put up a very simple banner stand but then one day whilst myself and Steve were helping out fitting the graphics to a batch due for delivery the next day, one of the units sprung out of my hand unexpectedly and hit Steve on the top of his head, cutting him quite badly.
What we learned, to our cost, over several weeks was that these roller banners are cheap for a reason and in the same way you should avoid calling a member of the Russian Mafia a ‘big girls blouse’ you should avoid saying to someone selling them “I’ll have one of those”. The outcome will be the same; you’ll be bloody and in pain… literally.
We have now taken the Origin off sale for sake of our sanity and also our reputation. The entry roller banner model is now the Greenwich. It’s slightly more expensive but the difference is planetary—it’s a Mercedes to the Origin’s Fiat and worth every penny of the additional cost.
So take a tip from an old car dealer: when it comes to your roller banners, buy a Mercedes. You know it makes sense.