In the competitive tri-state area that includes NYC and NJ, many family businesses close within less than 5 years of opening. Ballantine, a family business that grew by leaps and bounds, is now celebrating fifty years in operation and includes a third generation of Cotes.
In 1966, Ballantine was founded by Thomas J. Cote, during the famed area of “Mad Men.” The company started by offering pre-press and print production services in Manhattan. Ballantine relocated to New Jersey as the company expanded. Recently, they moved to a larger facility in Fairfield, NJ.
Ballantine’s key to success was continuing to expand to accommodate the demands of a constantly changing business world. The idea was to remain relevant and competitive. As a result, they started to include mailing services in 1990.
A decade later, they reviewed modern business trends again to see if they were on track. In 2000, Ballantine decided to add copy and design as well as one-to-one marketing. The goal was to provide a comprehensive solution to their clients’ needs.
By 2011, Ballantine decided to enter the realm of digital marketing. Currently, Ballantine continues to offer print and mailing services as well as SEO, paid search, content marketing, social media, and email marketing services.
As a result of this ongoing expansion, Ballantine offers a total marketing solution that integrates print and direct mail marketing with online marketing in one cohesive package. For busy businesses, it is a one-stop shop for their marketing needs. For Ballantine, it has been a profitable business decision.
Besides changing its offerings, Ballantine also focused on a viable target market. Fifty years ago, the primary customer base included newspaper inserts and catalogs. Today Ballantine’s clients include non-profit organizations, manufacturing businesses, health services, food and beverage companies, and more.
Throughout its evolution over the past fifty years, Ballantine has continued to be a family-owned and operated company. In 1968, Tom J.’s brother Charles joined the business. In 1978, Charles’ son, Thomas C. Cote, joined the company followed by Tom’s brother, John in 1984. When Tom J. and Charles decided to retire, Tom C. and John transitioned up to company management.
Today, the third generation of Cotes are part of the business. Ryan is Director of Digital Marketing, Matt is Director of Business Development, and Scott is Director of Paid Advertising.
President John Cote notes, “It’s unusual for a family business to stay successful through three generations. However, we’ve found a way to not only make it work but also thrive.”
Ryan Cote told Examiner, “I’m proud to be in a family business that has been able to maintain a great reputation for 50 years. It shows our dedication to our clients as well as our ability to adapt to an industry that has gone through a lot of change. We focus on doing right for our clients, providing an excellent service and enhancing our capabilities when the time is right…and here we are, 50 years strong!”
It seems to stay successful in a competitive business environment such as NYC and NJ, it is important to know how to adapt to change. With Ballantine’s success in mind, it might also help to keep it all in the family.