Executive Chat

Featuring Greg Sausaman, CEO of Topper’s Creamery

by Rebecca Patt, Senior Vice President of Development, Wray Executive Search

Greg Sausaman is the co-founder and CEO of Topper’s Craft Creamery, a complementary brand featuring a turnkey, soft-serve, frozen custard. He got his start in complementary branding working with Allied Domecq and the Dunkin’ Donuts brand.

What is complementary branding?

Complementary branding is adding a daypart option that you don’t already have. I just wrote a book about this called Inside the Box: The Power of Complementary Branding. The guy who wrote the forward for the book was Ed Ramsey. I tracked him down because he was the CEO for McDonald’s when McDonald’s added soft serve to their menu back in 1995. In McDonald’s case in 1995, they were looking to add to the traffic with senior citizens and with kids to have something to upsell with the Happy Meal.

Another complementary brand is Starbucks. They started the “We Proudly Brew” back in the 90s. They went to healthcare, military bases, university campuses and said, “you don’t have to drink the generic coffee, we can provide you with a branded product.” They give you turnkey operations with all the training, operations, and support on how to execute the brand, and that’s exactly what we do.