Launching iSolve's B2B Website
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
CEO

Launching iSolve's B2B Website

By May, 2000, faced with unpredictable market conditions and more rigorous attention paid by investors to profitability, B2B’s found themselves scrambling for funding and legitimacy.

Paul Holmes

 

If 1999 was the year of stardom for B2C, 2000 quickly became the year for B2B.  And much like its predecessor, B2B suffered the same fall from grace as B2C’s had in 1999.  By May, 2000, faced with unpredictable market conditions and more rigorous attention paid by investors to profitability, B2B’s found themselves scrambling for funding and legitimacy.

iSolve turned to Ruder Finn to craft and publicize an identity that would separate it from the pack and demonstrate the value of the company while educating end users about surplus, corporate barter and the potential financial benefits from both.  

To that end, Ruder Finn assessed the market conditions and crafted a multi-pronged media strategy that positioned iSolve as the dot.com uniquely positioned to aid failing dot.coms.  Not only did this approach highlight iSolve’s business offerings, it placed iSolve and surplus in a relevant context that resonated with end-users and ultimately communicated how to identify and dispose of surplus to improve the financial health of companies.

CHALLENGES:

Ruder Finn faced several challenges in developing a year-long program to introduce iSolve to multiple audiences.

  • Crafting an identity that would separate iSolve from the thousands of B2B exchanges launched in 2000.
  • Making surplus, one of the most misunderstood areas of business, attractive to the media.
  • Communicating the benefits and legitimacy of corporate barter.
  • Generating media attention with limited information- iSolve guarantees anonymity for its buyers and sellers.

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES:

Build and maintain solid brand awareness and a specific identity for iSolve as the premier online and off line B2B surplus inventory exchange specializing in automotive, health & beauty, food & beverage, retail and salvage.

Drive awareness among buyers, sellers and third parties about iSolve’s ability to connect buyers and sellers of surplus inventory resulting in financial benefits for both parties.

Position barter as a mainstream corporate practice and communicate its benefits.

STRATEGIES:

Researching key competitors resulting in an understanding of significant competitive advantages for iSolve’s end users including anonymity for buyers and sellers and a 30-day guarantee that an offer will be made on goods listed on iSolve’s site.   

Developing story angles and materials that demonstrated iSolve’s benefits to online and offline companies.  Story angles included: solutions for slowing the burn rate of dot.com companies, protecting brand identity while disposing of surplus, handling seasonal surplus and the fate of holiday Etailers.

Utilizing networking groups such as the Association of Internet Professionals (AIP) to promote iSolve’s capabilities.

PROGRAM EXECUTION:

Developed an extensive media outreach program encompassing business, consumer and Internet trade publications, national daily newspapers, national broadcast television, radio and wire services as well as trade and consumer publications in automotive, health & beauty, food & beverage, and retail and salvage to communicate the benefits of disposing of surplus and iSolve’s competitive advantages.

Arranged numerous one-on-one interviews with iSolve’s CEO across various media outlets including print, broadcast television and radio.

Maximized the AIP conference to network within the media and business communities on the issues of how Internet companies can slow their burn rates through liquidation of surplus assets.

RESULTS:

Extensive media coverage including over one hundred print and newswire features in business, technology, general and trade publications, including a front-page story in USA Today and features in Business Finance and CFO Magazine.

Five-minute interview with iSolve’s Chairman & CEO, Lance Lundberg on Bloomberg Radio  outlining how companies can slow their burn rates through the disposition of surplus.

Five-minute interview with iSolve’s Chairman & CEO, Lance Lundberg on CNNfn’s “Business Unusual” strategically timed to coincide with year-end surplus as well as post-holiday returns and surplus.

Bylined article on corporate barter by iSolve’s Chairman & CEO Lance Lundberg in Aftermarket Business, a key publication in the automotive vertical.
In addition, a joint event with The Association of Internet Professionals featuring iSolve’s Chairman and CEO, Lance Lundberg, speaking on the topic crafted by Ruder Finn “Slowing the Burn Rate: How to Manage Dot.Com Risk in a Volatile Marketplace”

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