Blink, a fast-growing American company at the forefront of smart home technology, required an integrated agency to launch and establish the brand in the UK on before expanding into other European markets.
Blink’s stylish, battery-powered video monitoring systems are disrupting the home security industry by providing consumers with instant home insight via an affordable, easy-to-setup solution. Blink had achieved rapid growth and penetration of the North American home security market and now wanted to target the European market.
Establish the brand in the EU
Blink’s Head of Digital Marketing and Sales, David Laubner, was tasked with launching Blink in Europe. Without an established brand presence, a marketing function or connections to media in Europe, David needed support from a UK-based PR & Marketing agency:
“We identified Amazon.co.uk as our primary sales channel and defined a requirement for an agency that could provide both PR and digital marketing services to create awareness and establish our brand in the UK and then throughout Europe.”
David’s brief detailed the need for integrated and measurable PR and Marketing services. He wanted to use one agency who could:
- coordinate a press launch event that notable lifestyle/tech media journalists would attend.
- optimise Blink’s Amazon.co.uk listings to illustrate the features and benefits of the products
- implement digital Facebook and Amazon Marketplace campaigns to drive sales to Amazon.co.uk.
- arrange and place product reviews and competitions within target print and online publications.
After shortlisting several agencies David chose brookscomm, a UK-based integrated PR and digital marketing agency, because of its experience in helping boost the profile of technology brands in new markets and its expertise in Amazon digital marketing.
Implementing an effective launch strategy
brookscomm implemented an integrated approach in response to the launch brief, mapping out a project plan containing the PR, Marketing and logistical tasks required to support the UK launch and to build momentum. Media content was created and distributed which illustrated the key messages about Blink, positioning the brand as notable entrants to the UK’s home security market.
A major launch event took place at London’s prestigious Ivy restaurant. The Blink management team gave a product demonstration and presented an overview of positioning and products to journalists and influencers from the UK’s leading print and online, including The Financial Times, T3 and the Daily Mail.
Product reviews were arranged with prominent online consumer tech reviewers who rate products via YouTube and online tech media. Samples were placed with consumer tech media for review and to giveaway in prize draws, a tactic which helped to quickly generate awareness and drive consumer demand for Blink’s systems. A press tour enabled Blink to meet key UK media on a one-to-one basis. A trip to Bath to meet the team at T3, the UK’s biggest tech media publication resulted in some great coverage.
The digital marketing project ran a series of Facebook adverts targeted at demographic audiences having an interest in home security technologies.
Making the most from selling on Amazon.co.uk
The Amazon Blink product listings were optimised by brookscomm to maximise their selling impact by detailing the features of the products and how they would help to protect consumers homes. brookscomm assisted Blink with registering the Blink brand in the UK and EU so that Amazon’s Enhanced Brand Content (deeper, eye-catching detailed product listings) could be developed to help the brand stand-out from others.
Amazon Marketplace keyword advertising was utilised with Blink adverts displayed as results for searches relating to home security systems. A content marketing approach, including producing eBook guides and tips, helped build a database of engaged potential customers, receptive to offers and promotions.
brookscomm were responsible for the upkeep of the website http://www.blinkforhome.co.uk making sure this e-commerce site, powered by Shopify was kept up to date. Sales promotions, news, blog posts and remedial SEO updates ensured the Blink website immediately started to sell product direct to consumers.
The brand registration on Amazon opened up additional promotional opportunities. Lightning Deals, a form of flash sales and “Deal of the Day” where Amazon promoted Blink at discount as its main sales product for that day, were spectacularly successful. In one day alone Blink sold offer £250,000 of products.
Measurable PR and Marketing
brookscomm employed a range of project controls designed to measure the impact of the advertising, media reviews and competitions. Being able to track which target publications received the most views, which adverts or keywords generated the most sales provided useful management information and help shape ongoing activities. On Amazon and Facebook brookscomm carefully managed a significant digital advertising budget, ensuring an Advertising Cost of Sale (ACOS) of under 20%.
Live activity and results were shared with David via a Google doc project spreadsheet. He could see the positive news and reviews of Blink with the unique monthly view (UVM) data in the UK national press including: Financial Times, The Daily Express, The Metro and in consumer tech publications including: T3, PC Pro, Tech Digest and over thirty lifestyle publications including: Good Housekeeping, Your Home, and Luxuria Lifestyle.
The results of the digital marketing were staggering, in one month e-advertising generated 1.7m views page views of Blink products and over 30,000 click-throughs to the Amazon.co.uk Blink listings.
Sales, clicks and impressions data were logged in the online spreadsheet along with the overall sales and marketing spend to enabled a real-time ROI to be established.
UK sales sky-rocket
Off the back of the successful launch and coordinated PR and Marketing activities, Blink has sold extremely well in the UK, experiencing month-on-month double digit growth at Amazon.co.uk and on the Blink website. Sales promotions both on Amazon and via email and social media to the 66,000 strong opt-in email database of UK customers have been highly successful.
“I’m delighted with the service from brookscomm, we set out to establish the Blink brand in Europe and the team has been instrumental in helping us achieve that objective.”
2018 expansion into France and Germany
Building on the success in the UK, brookscomm helped Blink launch in France and then Germany in 2018. brookscomm has strong relationships with fellow integrated PR & Marketing agencies in Europe and partnered with them to oversee the implementation of launch strategies. The UK Blink website was cloned and translated into German and French, the Amazon.de and Amazon.fr Blink listings were translated and the same supporting PR and digital marketing activity was undertaken, all of which was closely managed and overseen by brookscomm. A press tour of Germany and a launch event in Paris helped get things underway.
Like the UK, sales have taken off in Germany and France, the combination of a great product from Blink, integrated PR, marketing and digital advertising have all contributed to launch and establish the brand in the mainland EU.
Acquisition by Amazon!
Having made a success of Blink outside of the United States, Amazon chose to purchase Blink in 2018, realising that the brand and its products aligned perfectly with their own vision of the future of smart-home technology.