Need help growing
your brand?

Call Lee at 646.507.5804

or email lee@digobrands.com

Author: Dan Kalmus

How Do You Relaunch A FinTech Company? Give Away Free Haircuts

So now you’ve redesigned your website, reinvented your platform and unleashed an entirely new pricing structure. How do you get the word out about your brand’s new logo, voice and everything in between? If you’re TradeStation, an award-winning fintech company and brokerage, then the answer is simple: dye people’s hair blue in the middle of one of New York City’s busiest commuter hubs.

Video captured by TradeStation

“TradeStation just got a fresh look and now it’s our turn to give people one,” said Kevin Karp, Creative Director. We created the TradeStation Barbershop, located in the heart of The Oculus, a stone’s throw from Wall Street and in the shadow of One World Trade Center. The pop-up barbershop gave away free haircuts, blowouts and blue hair dye and extensions while hosting trading competitions, trivia challenges, market-themed meditations and photo ops with blue wigs. Why all the blue? Why not? (And it’s the brand color.)

“It was completely unexpected in the fintech world,” said Nehal Beltangady, Brand Director. “So was engagement. Over 400,000 people go through the Oculus every day. Partnering with LiveGauge, we were able to track 87,000 unique impressions at our barbershop over the course of three days. And we recorded over 4,600 repeat visitors, too.”

TradeStation is highly regarded in the trading community for its powerful tools, winning numerous best-in-class awards yearly, but isn’t as well-known as other mainstream discount brokerages. “Competing against bigger budgets and bigger names, the brand was struggling to stand out in traditional TV,” said Alessandra Pinho, Director of Strategy and Planning, “At DiMassimo Goldstein, we look to find new ways to find solutions for our clients. Live events create memorable brand experiences. You’ll see hundreds of commercials every day, but you won’t forget the trading platform that gave you a blowout.”

Like most advertising agencies and fintech companies, DiMassimo Goldstein didn’t have a lot of experience running a barbershop. “It really was a big cross-disciplinary effort,” said Claudia Mark, Design Director. “We had people working together, some in completely unfamiliar territory, across different fields. From the project’s inception, we had people from every discipline work together.”

“TradeStation’s offices are in South Florida,” said Matt Peters, Senior Designer, “So we wanted to bring those vibes to New York City.” It wasn’t enough to just create any old barbershop, but a modern one that felt like TradeStation’s hometown. Our bulls had sunglasses and our bears carried surfboards. It’s Wall Street meets beach culture.

“The client was happy, we were happy and we left a lot of people with blue hair,” said Mark DiMassimo, Chief here at DiMassimo Goldstein. “What’s amazing is that we raised brand awareness and none of it looked like a traditional advertisement. Lots of brands want something out of the box but lose their appetite when it comes to actually doing it. We found a novel, engaging way to take an online-only brand and bring it face to face with their consumers. That’s what Inspiring Action is all about.”