Our communication channels are oversaturated, and quite factually the minds of millions are utterly overloaded. How can your voice be heard with clarity amidst the steady drone?
Every SECOND of every day there are about 7,500 tweets, 41,000 Facebook posts, 60,000 Google searches, and 68,000 YouTube videos viewed—and those numbers grow as new smartphones are sold, new platforms invented, and the Internet-beaming Facebook drone takes flight across the far reaches of Earth.1,2
L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his 1982 article “SHOWMANSHIP IN PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING”:
“The flavor and flair of showmanship and pizzazz can be lacking in PR and marketing.”
“Today’s advertising world is overloaded with many messages (just turn on the TV) and it takes abnormally brilliant marketing and glitter to get a message through and impinge on the public.
“Showmanship in presentation and marketing imbues things with life—it makes them stand out and be noticed.”
If that was required in 1982, what does it take to stand out in 2017 and beyond?
Examining some of the more successful companies out there, it becomes clear that it takes understanding your specific public or niche, what makes them tick, providing a wholly unique experience, and the ability to rapidly grow and adapt.
One notable company made #1 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies for 2016.
They’re called Loot Crate.
Loot Crate was founded by Chris Davis and Matthew Arevalo in 2012. They have expanded by 66,789 percent over the last three years, and did $116.2 million in revenue for 2015.3, 4
On the surface their business model is quite simple: They’re a subscription box service that sends a monthly box of “geek and gaming” merchandise to their subscribers. Think “Comic-Con in a box”; Loot Crate boxes center around Marvel superheroes, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Firefly, Halo, Assassin’s Creed, Doctor Who, Star Wars and other objects of intense fandom. Their clientele is hardly confined to self-proclaimed geeks, and 30 percent of them are women.
After several unsuccessful startups, Chris Davis was at a 2012 “hackathon” in Los Angeles, where he met Matthew Arevalo. “We started working together full time two weeks later,” says Davis. “After we launched the site in 2012, we had 220 people signed up to receive the first crate within 30 days.” By winter 2014, they had more than 300,000 subscribers.
They now have a 130,000-square-foot warehouse, with 300 employees that pack 70,000 boxes a day, shipping monthly to 650,000 subscribers in 35 countries.
The contents of the monthly box are a surprise until shipped, and more than 80 percent of merchandise is exclusively licensed and produced for Loot Crate subscribers. Instead of solely focusing on a specific video game, TV or film series, each monthly box features a theme, such as DYSTOPIA, INVASION, QUEST, ANTI-HERO or ORGINS. Specialty crates include GAMING, PETS and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).
Loot Crate carefully curates its contents. When it sends an Assassin’s Creed figurine, a Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure T-shirt, a Firefly arm patch, a Back to the Future hoverboard replica, or a reprint of Superman Action Comics #1, it does so after careful consideration based upon a deep understanding of its clientele. It’s fun, quirky and whimsical—but connecting to twenty-first-century fandom is deadly serious business.
“Part of the fun and excitement is the mystery,” says Arevalo, who oversees fan engagement. “But digital sharing means that the mystery of what’s in the crate is hard to safeguard. So the tighter the delivery window can be, the better.”
Loot Crate is a community with an in-house team of designers, developers and writers. They release an interactive game each month, a 24-page magazine, and scripted videos with plots based on each month’s theme—in addition to their YouTube channel and presence throughout social media, with over 2.5 million Facebook followers.
“We think of ourselves now as more of a content and experience platform,” says Davis. “Whether it’s print or mobile or digital, we want to deliver this great experience to fans. That’s bigger than subscription boxes.”
“Our community is very welcoming to all types and is structured in a way to give a voice to fans that has never been possible before,” adds Arevalo.
“We work out relationships with the entertainment companies based around major tent-pole events like movie premieres, game releases and other significant moments to curate items to celebrate those via themes,” says Davis.
With abnormal brilliance and flair, it would seem the so-called geeks have inherited the Earth.
- “1 Second—Internet Live Stats.” com. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
- “Facebook’s Giant Internet-Beaming Drone Finally Takes Flight.” com. Condé Nast, 21 July 2016. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
- Rockwood, Kate. “America’s Fastest-Growing Company Is in Your Mailbox Every Month.” com. Inc., 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.
Let us hear your feedback. E-mail email@example.com