Wilen Group — Adapting To the Times

The Wilen family is dressed to kill and grow its market share. From the left are Corey, Kevin, Richard and Darrin Wilen.

A new feature, W3, is a Web browser-based tool that allows users to log in, create and send creative on-demand, track progress and run reports related to multiple mailing campaigns.

What pleases clients most is Wilen Group’s evolution into a full-service, fully integrated marketing services provider. Wilen takes over at the beginning stages, all the way through providing consumer insights, marketing plan development, design, printing, fulfillment, logistics and data services.

“Naturally, clients were looking to send out messaging by direct mail,” Darrin Wilen says. “Plus, our clients have a lot more to say. So they were finding static space and needed to break out. Being able to use big pictures and effects was a natural extension for us. Because we vertically integrate, we’re able to provide one bundled price, which is a lot less than if customers go to a myriad of different agencies.

“When a customer needs a million direct mail pieces, we go from the initial creative to home delivery within days,” he adds. “That includes all design, logistics, printing, imaging and mailing.”

The company has come a long way since its days in Richard’s basement. At heart, it still provides marketing-based solutions for the entertainment industry, including cable television. But it also boasts an impressive client roster for the publishing and retail segments. And Wilen Press, originally positioned to address the needs of Wilen Media, has blossomed into commercial printing and produces catalogs, magazines, brochures, bill inserts and, of course, direct mail.

The growth is certainly reflected in Wilen Group’s vital statistics. The company has 200 employees, 130 based at the 90,000-square-foot facility in Florida, which recently garnered a new 25,000-square-foot addition. Combined sales exceed $40 million, which also includes WILopEN Products, a 2002 spinoff that provides specialty products for direct marketing and retail needs.

Now at the age of 10, Wilen Press doesn’t appear to be suffering from growing pains. With the new web press, Kevin Wilen notes the firm is in the process of incorporating Kodak Versamark inside/outside ink-jet print heads; previously, personalization capability was limited to the outside of the printed piece.

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