Case Study: When it is hard and expensive to get attention, we need to make sure we get our point across efficiently, and to the right market segments
AmTAG is a new concept service that tackles the problems of lost items. As in the latest years, electronic location devices like Tile and Trackr are all the rage, competing to be more high tech and to integrate across more devices, AmTAG took the opposite route. They opted for going back to their roots and creating a service, rather than a product.
The service in question is based on group support, in order to become the easiest and safest way to recover lost items. The tag is a physical mini-card or a sticker with a serial number that can be attached to keys, phone, laptop, and pretty much any other object.
Our client’s vision was grande, aiming at a national service of items recovery, coupled with a very dynamic setup in order to adapt on the spot as the products, service, and client’s needs shift. This was needed since, as we would find out later, our image was to be very different from the one we started from.
The service and the products were quite a simple concept, easy to adapt, change, and even rebrand as we went along and better understood our client’s personas.
The investment capital for the company came with certain requirements that created some obstacles, one of which is that we had to hit the ground running. Therefore, we did not have the proper time to prepare and analyze the market in-depth, having to adapt our plan as we went along. In some cases like the tag and sticker design that wasn’t a problem, but in the case of the business’ nature itself, a wrong positioning would prove incredibly hard to recover from.
Aside from the tech location products, we had an even bigger competition: a piece of paper where people could write their phone number and stick it to the product. This was our main competition challenge, as it is absurdly versatile and can be a piece of paper, a card, a sticker, a piece of plastic, or anything that can hold some information. Moreover, these didn’t require ordering, waiting, or a yearly fee.
Our objective was clear, but the path was by no means defined. As a service that relies on people and especially on the clients themselves, reaching the critical mass was everything and not only for the perceived value of the service but as the very fuel required for it to function. That meant we had to deviate from Mahler and Rogers’ diffusion curve and establish our diffusion rate line at around 20%. Moreover, we were faced with the challenge of reaching that number without a properly working product/service.
The first thing we did was to change the whole nature of AmTAG. When we started our partnership, it was about the products, the tag and the sticker. We immediately changed AmTAG into a service company, as the products are not the goal, but tools. We also immediately changed what it does. AmTAG was no longer in the field of helping find items or announce lost ones, it was in the business or recovering items. Hence, it became THE nationwide service of items recovery.
In order to overcome the lack of time to properly assess the market, we had to implement strategies that could be adapted fast. The website was the first key point, as all those interested had to be funneled through there to understand the service, to become clients, and indeed to use the service. As such, we correctly assessed that people would spend little time on the website, meaning that we had to get the point across in the fastest and most efficient manner.
One of the few unexpected issues was the double-edged question: „how does it work”. If we give a comprehensive reply and insert some persuasion lines, we bore the customer. If we explain it shortly, it makes the product seem completely useless, no better than pen and paper. Most people would leave, the few that would ask about that would be faced with the sales pitch, again getting bored. We couldn’t bore people into buying when we were trying to sell them a simple and easy-to-use product. Thus, we had to make these points extremely clear, to let people find these answers instantly for themselves.
The first point of access for most visitors would be the banner on the homepage. Therefore, we decided to use it to illustrate the service UX, rather than having text. We included two buttons that are exclusively meant for the two functions of the service: register your tag and report a found item. In the next section, we presented the products, followed by the service explanation. We had to compress everything into three easy steps: register, report, recover. As the concept is so radical, we had to showcase how simple it is to use, before we could move on to the next section – the sales pitch.
In our sales pitch, we ignored the need for the client to get a way to recover lost items (which would have meant to explain why it’s good to recover a lost product), and we went straight for differentiation between AmTAG and the competition. We researched the tech products and identified the reasons why most people don’t buy them. We used those reasons as the precise differentiation points and sales pitch:
Attack the pen and paper for the lack of security. If you lose your house key, do you want your details on them? That’s like writing your PIN on your card
Attack the tech products. Even if they came a long way and are quite intuitive now, most people over 30 are insecure about being able to use smart devices and apps. Tech, apps, monitor battery, replace the battery, say goodbye to your items if your battery dies, you lose it in a puddle or it rains.
Showcase the advantage no competitor offers. If you do need to use your product to recover your lost item, you are on your own. There is nobody you can talk to from the competition, and losing an important item can create anxiety. AmTAG offers 24/7 support.
We acknowledged that it would be impossible to achieve our goal and reach the critical mass in a straight manner, as our client’s plan and budget didn’t account for the critical mass at all, while the time was very short. Therefore, we had to be bold and just claim we are already present nationwide (careful, as to not outright lie and have plausible deniability). This would divert some important resources from our other messages, but we decided it is an absolute must so as not to dissuade the few prospects and to create the illusion of a booming service.
We managed to get the brand shared in Facebook moms groups and we got some group influencers through social media prizes and free samples.
AmTAG immediately saw a great increase in the exposure, while the feedback shifted. People no longer asked „What is this?”, „How does it work?” and „Why wouldn’t I buy something else?” so that we could now focus on questions like „How much does it cost?”, „What happens if I lose my item while on a trip?” and „If someone finds my lost item, how do I get it back into my possession?”.