Thermoserv Invests In Brand Growth, Facility Expansion

DALLAS— ThermoServ is investing in growing its brand identity, as well as more than $3 million on an expansion and optimization project of its facility, which should be completed by the year’s end.

The project includes renovation of its office and manufacturing facility. Both signify a focus on the future growth for the company, in creating spaces focused on strategizing how to best communicate with and meet the needs of the retail partner and end consumer.

Tom Neth, president, ThermoServ, said the company has brought in efficiency experts to help redesign the flow of its Dallas office. The space is being repurposed to put functional groups together in synergistic areas “to create more fun, inspirational areas where it can be a more collaborative environment.”

For example, one of its conference rooms is going to be white boarded with the intent of having a free flow of ideas, and one of its break rooms will feature a chalkboard wall.

From the manufacturing side, ThermoServ has brought production of its melamine from its former Duncanville, TX, facility under one roof in Dallas with its other tableware products, which is particularly convenient when meeting the drop ship needs of the e-commerce channel, Neth noted.

ThermoServ has also hired Matt Huss as vp/manufacturing, who has a background in plastics engineering. It has also established ISO 9001 certification, where a third party oversees the facility for product quality standards. Neth said the quality assurance is presented in conjunction with the domestic manufacturing message to its retail partners.

“The transition we’re making in our physical space is symbolic of the transition we’re making in our overall business,” said Neth. The company is continuing on its path to going beyond just a manufacturing company that produces functional goods and into one that is focused on the end consumers’ preferences.

ThermoServ has invested in marketing research to find out what the consumer wants in a product, and to understand what retail channels are important for which ThermoServ products, with the next step being having the sales team get behind the right channels for the matching consumer segment.

In addition, its brand relaunch has evolved over the past year and a half, noted Dana Dowdy, director of marketing, ThermoServ.

“We’re investing our attention and energy into building a brand that connects with the consumer. What you see today is a brand identity that reflects what we want ThermoServ to be about. It’s modern, it’s fun, it’s refreshing. It’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s approachable,” said Dowdy.

This brand messaging is not only reflected on the shelf, but also in the relaunch of ThermoServ’s website, which reflects the company’s drinkware, including its newest, Tritan tumblers, melamine dinnerware and microwavable plastic Versaware.

For its brick-and-mortar retail partners, ThermoServ recently embarked on a packaging and labeling redesign to make the brand logo more fun, and to connect with the consumer at the point of purchase on a cup’s benefits and features of use, said Dowdy. The aim is to differentiate a ThermoServ branded cup from the many cups on the market, for example. On the brand’s Tritan double wall beverageware, the company calls out its break resistance, that it reduces condensation, and that it is Made in America.

Part of having shorter lead times of the Made in the U.S.A. package is that this benefit can apply to not only customized designs for retailers but also in options for the end consumer.

With drinkware and tableware production under one roof, ThermoServ aims to be a better “mass customization” supplier, said Neth, in that the company can design coordinated tableware products that match a retailer’s theme.

The company is also utilizing customization capabilities to launch a line of birthday kits for hobby and craft stores this month in which a child can work from a template to create a picture and the parent can take a picture of the artwork, upload it to the ThermoServ website, and the finished product can be sent back to the consumer.

Dowdy said the technology could also be utilized in both the beverageware and casual entertaining space, where especially the younger consumer “values a personalized shopping experience and product that feels like it’s meant for them,” she said. “We will heavily leverage that technology into our product assortment.” She noted that bridal items and favors are a possibility, whether it be monogrammed plates for a rehearsal dinner or a gift bag of personalized cups for the bridal party.

“I love the idea of taking fashion oriented designs and making them more personal,” said Dowdy. She said the brand is zeroing in on casual entertaining. “That is where we see the future of ThermoServ.”