Droplyte was the first business to successfully take the chaos of live self-storage auctions to the convenience of an online auction platform. The creation of two ideas merged together, beginning from the ground up, KGA Speed Media played an immediate and active role from the first move. The brand needed to be refined and corporate, the marketing demanded convincing honesty and confidence.
Revenue increase in '12
Top of the space
Online auctions are nothing new, but to an industry that has not changed in roughly 25 years, introducing a new way of doing a routine task, was quite an undertaking. Here are three key elements we focused on:
Always appear larger than reality. Follow big-business tactics to emulate confidence and a trustworthy foundation. This begins with tight branding guidelines and a consistent voice through documented details.
The luanch of a business is about aggression, perseverance, tact and craft. With a B2B and B2C business model, two types of customers existed as a target which required numerous campaigns and strategies.
Understanding the demographic is key here - they were largely skeptical of the success and viability a process they had known so well. The best way to handle this hurdle was to give them the utmost simplicity.
Large-scale corporation or bootstrapped startup, the branding schematics matter. Think big and build bigger. The following is a highlight of what went into the branding process for Droplyte.
The keystone to a business, an identity is hours upon hours of planning, & conceptualization.
Every color has a purpose and meaning, a voice to a specific demographic.
The typeface is another crucial element to a strong, rule-defined branding plan.
Convey the proper tone relevant to all marketing through consistent imagery.
Three thoughtful colors purposely chosen to relay trust and confirmation to a potentially skeptical audience.
One of the biggest hurdles to overcome is the common “chicken vs. egg” scenario. How will we launch this business without buyers and sellers?
Our sales team went after one of the largest storage companies in the business, and succeeded - this gave us a valuable name to drop as we pushed deeper into sales. We then formed relationships with smaller local operations to use in our beta launch to test the process.
We then focused on the buyers. From localized guerrilla tactics, trade shows, to efficient PPC campaigns playing off of parallel keywords to draw in potential users, our marketing team had to be creative and ever-evolving.
It was essential to create alliances within the industry in order to gain their trust through education and experience. We needed to learn the process from the ground floor walking through the procedures with employees, all the way up to the executive level operations.
Leveling the buyer playing field was a matter of studying the current problems and simply mapping a plan to attract different types of people that we felt would love the experience of an online storage auction.
We targeted brand & marketing materials to appeal to both genders and a much broader overall range.
Successful businesses truly benefit all parties involved. Our team created positive, exciting and honest messaging.
Putting together a convincing platform from scratch meant making certain all users felt at ease throughout the process.
We immediately realized the buyer demographic needed an evolution to attract a wider platform of participants. Our team knew this was possible through a well thought-out branding & marketing plan to attract a wider range of buyer.
As you can see from the graph above, the previous buyer audience was male-dominated and not very diverse. Our marketing plan revolved around evolving those numbers into the immersion of a new younger base of buyers and a goal of increasing the female attendance.
The second graph shows how greatly the personas changed after the first year. We nearly tripled the amount of women who particpate (by breaking down the intimidation factor of live auctions), and brought in a younger group of new buyers.
Slide decks, data one-sheets, postcards, tradeshow materials, PPC campaigns - we covered countless bases. Below are a few examples:
In a sales & marketing arena, the hardest sale is the first one. The first seller in this case, or even the first buyer. How do we convince both parties that they need to use Droplyte for their auction platform, a method that has never been done successfully before?
Old habits die hard - the self-storage industry has been around for quite a while, but for the past 30-plus-years, not much has changed, especially with the way the auctions are handled. Who likes change? Not many - we needed to fully convince the top execs down to the employees.
Two classes of skeptics existed throughout this project: 1) The Seller: will my online buyer even show up? Will their payments be timely? 2) The Buyer: How do I know that the process is secure, fair and honest?
We attracted the attention of one of the top businesses in the industry, almost immediately, through great communication and outstanding presentation materials. From there the sales team pushed hard to close local sales to build on, while the executive staff created industry alliances.
Resistance to change is one of the most common sales & marketing hurdles in existence. The new online system was incredibly easy for all parties to use, which included web-cast-guided training sessions & videos for reference. To back that up, a helpful voice was available 24/7.
The website and all related materials related to the brand were always guided by the brand guide, ensuring a professional organization. Customer service carefully guided both parties through their initial transactions ensuring a seamless & confident purchase process. Stand tall, be confident and deliver assurance.
B2B - Tradeshow invitation piece accompanied with the post-show follow-up.
“This business was a struggle - politics, red tape, doubt - you name it. We had to prove our service was better, to an industry that has not changed in decades. The right road map was essential for success.”