SMART Storage Systems

Opportunity

Spikes in data growth due to increased use of social media, cloud computing and mobile applications caused the storage industry to take on a title it never wanted – the new data center bottleneck. The emergence of NAND flash as a storage medium and as a possible solution to this problem, via solid-state drives, breathed new life into a somewhat stagnant industry, spurring a rush into the market unlike ever before.

SMART Storage Systems had a unique vision for how this new medium could be leveraged in enterprise environments. Specifically, they believed they could make the most cost-effective NAND flash reliable enough for enterprise needs. Bringing this possibility to life with unique technology, the company realized some early success with leading OEMs.

However, SMART Storage Systems required a way to cut through all of the noise created by a rush of competitors that lead with industry jargon, making everyone sound the same. They also needed a way to bring a relatively unknown industry issue to the forefront to differentiate and gain mindshare.

Lastly, the company sought a way to make itself an attractive acquisition target in a market primed for consolidation.

Solution

Entering a well-established market crowded by industry bell weathers can leave even the most innovative companies stuck in the shadows. We were brought on board because we understood that breaking through the noise required elevating overlooked issues SMART Storage Systems could own to the forefront and narrowing the playing field.

With this understanding, we re-focused industry debate around a critical, but often overlooked and misunderstood issue with the “Endurance Is…” campaign, giving SMART Storage Systems a platform to introduce itself to market, differentiate and narrow the playing field to two.

The campaign sought to educate industry influencers on the importance of endurance in storage solutions, spotlight the company’s unique technology and draw comparisons to industry leaders to highlight their inefficiency in this area. To achieve this our team initiated a series of point-of-view based media and analyst interactions, engaged in rapid response to industry issues in real-time and facilitated numerous product reviews to gain validation. We also took to social media to further propagate SMART Storage Systems’ point of view to a broader audience and engage directly with influencers via a new company blog, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.

Elevating the issue of endurance into the public eye generated a significant amount of attention for the company. Industry media and analysts, quickly proclaimed the company a thought and technology leader in the growing enterprise solid-state storage market. This led to SMART Storage Systems becoming one of a few companies at the center of speculation in a consolidating market, ultimately resulting in its acquisition by SanDisk in a deal valued at $307 Million.

Results

Our team developed an “Endurance Is…” campaign to give SMART Storage Systems the platform required to break onto the scene, gain mindshare and take a leadership role in a market dominated by big brands. The results included:

  • Placement in more than 215 unique articles in a year and a half
  • A top five Share of Voice ranking despite being the only private company
  • More than four million impressions on Twitter after starting the company’s profile from zero
  • Introductions and regular engagement with 17 top analyst firms and more than 30 storage industry publications
  • Securing of esteemed industry accolades, including the Flash Memory Summit 2013 Best In Show and Tech Trailblazers awards
  • Establishment of executives as industry thought leaders and regular speaker placement at top industry conferences
  • Beginning of a company blog and doubling of readership year-over-year
  • Development of 22 videos
  • Acquisition by SanDisk