How does a digital direct brand reinvent itself for the direct 2.0 economy?
For Quicken Loans, it started with a big, inspiring idea:
Revolutionize and reinvent the mortgage process for today’s digital consumer.
But how does a mortgage-lending company offer something that no other mortgage-lending company has offered before?
For Quicken, it was simple. They don’t.
They don’t reinvent the product. Instead, they reinvent the experience from top to bottom, with an objective to stand up to the expectations of a Dollar Shave Club, Airbnb, Warby Parker world.
The competition was the backdrop. Mortgage-lending companies were old, slow, and boring.
To be for the digital consumer, the new experience needed to be futuristic, innovative, and direct. They needed to think like a tech company.
And they did. They assembled a team of over 450 engineers to build this new digital service.
After five years of research, testing and development, Quicken Loans was ready to lift the curtain on their revolutionary masterpiece – and what better way than an iconic spot during Super Bowl XLIX?
RocketMortgage was launched! The spot went viral. Direct 2.0 had reached the mortgage industry.
So how is it different?
With RocketMortgage, you can get a loan approved within minutes. The entire process is completely paperless, and the interface has the technology to verify your bank statements on the fly. No other service can offer such a streamlined and seamless user-experience. For RocketMortgage, it’s all about the customer.
Emotional Match. Creative Fatwood. Momentum Fire. Rocket Mortgage assembled all of the most important elements we look for in a blazing inspiring action brand.
And unlike its competitors, RocketMortgage delivers on its expectations. They’ve generated the optimum action, prioritizing the consumer and designing every detail of the service around their journey, successfully ridding the process of any gaps, logs or blocks.
They’ve put the power back into the consumers’ hands, leaving them feeling impassioned and inspiring them in a visceral way. They’ve managed to turn their inspiring idea into relationships, as Quicken Loans is now the leading online mortgage-lender in the United States.
That’s why RocketMortgage is our Inspiring Action Brand of the Week!
Not long ago, these words were synonymous with snowboarding.
But then snowboarding exploded into a multi-billion-dollar industry. With a few big-name brands dominating a large percentage of the market, the grass roots got buried under an avalanche of money.
Now, one hardy shoot has broken through.
Signal Snowboards is blazing its own trail. The small, independent brand recently introduced the world’s first-ever snowboard subscription. Through technology, Signal plans to bring the benefits of the direct economy to the snowboard community, carving through retail giants along the way.
Founded in 2004 by pro snowboarder Dave Lee, the California-based company was struggling to compete in a retail market dominated by brands like Burton and Volcom.
So Lee took his business off the shelves and put it onto the Internet. With a monthly subscription ranging from $35 to $55, you can have any of Signal’s snowboards delivered right to your doorstep. Since announcing the platform just a few short months ago, the company has already sold out its inventory, a first in the brand’s 12-year history.
But for Lee, going digital was just as much about brand building as it was about boosting sales.
The subscription model provides Signal the advantage of having monthly contact with its consumers, with new and exciting opportunities each time to connect and build the brand. Through these interactions, Signal can begin to create a community among its consumer base and develop lifetime value.
In a recent Fast Company article, Lee sheds light on the business advantages going direct has had on the brand:
“Think about a seasonal business, where you’re betting your business on three to four months of sales, but now with more predictable monthly revenues, we’re super flexible. We’re not even playing in the seasonal world anymore. We have no retailers or distributors – we do it all direct.”
Since the very beginning, Signal’s brand mission was to “build something more than just a product.” And thanks to Lee’s entrepreneurial vision, it’s done just that. Signal delivers more than a snowboard. It delivers an experience. By going direct, Signal makes snowboarding and snowboarding culture more accessible than ever before. Building the brand through direct relationships with subscribers means Signal can inspire its boarders to shred more and better, and live their shredding dreams.
That’s why Signal Snowboards is our Inspiring Action Brand of the Week!
Have you ever wondered where your clothes come from?
Sure you have. Maybe you’ve noticed, even examined the tags. Possibly uttered a small sigh of relief when you saw that your shirt had been made in America; dismissed any gut-wrenching thoughts when you saw it had been manufactured overseas.
But what do you know about your clothes beyond that?
Know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
This is the mantra of the newly established clothing manufacturer Everlane, whose mission is to sell high-quality clothing, honestly. They believe every product has a story, and they want to tell it in the most radically transparent way possible.
The idea of radical transparency is demonstrated in their “true cost” for each item – a sum of pricing for materials, hardware, labor, duties and transport. The cost is then doubled (versus marked up 8x, as in traditional retail) for the Everlane price. Not to mention, they give you extra information on the fit, how the style originated and even facts about the factory it was created in. It won’t be the cheapest item you have ever bought, but not the most expensive either.
Now you might be thinking: wait a minute – what secrets are all the other retailers hiding?
Just by offering all of this information to their consumers, Everlane makes people realize what they don’t know about their clothing and its production process. The current world of retail is tainted with skepticism and distrust because of what is hidden. Exposing the truth in retail production has not only challenged the existing status quo, but it has upped the ante for every other retailer out there.
Before searching ravenously for the nearest location, you might be interested to know that no brick-and-mortar Everlane stores exist. They are online only, to reduce costs even more for their customers. Don’t worry, their website is better than a store – and if you live in New York or San Francisco, they will deliver your clothes to your location, free of cost.
Recently predicted to be “the next J-Crew,” Everlane will be even less of a secret in 2016.
And hey, next time you’re shopping for clothes, do yourself a favor: know your factories. Know your costs. Always ask why.
This is Brian Kelly, but you can call him ThePointsGuy.
Who is he?
Well, as he states in his twitter bio, he’s “living proof that frequent flyer miles and credit card points are not worthless”.
I was first introduced to ThePointsGuy, by our Chief Mark DiMassimo a few short weeks ago. I had just taken a red-eye flight from San Francisco to Newark. Situated uncomfortably in my middle seat, in between a snoring businessman and a mother holding her crying baby, I accumulated a total of one hour’s rest on the five-hour coast-to-coast adventure.
I try not to let snobbish and pompous thoughts infiltrate my conscious, but with a long day of work on the horizon, I couldn’t help but peak my eyes over the seat in front of me and glare into the first class cabin.
Like a child jealous of his best friend’s toy, I thought to myself “I want that. No, no, I NEED that.”
The idea of kicking my feet up in luxury quickly escaped my mind. As a recent postgraduate, the hypothetical of taking first class excursions is likely more than a decade away, if not more. In my current situation, it’s just outside the realm of possibility.
ThePointsGuy would say otherwise.
ThePointsGuy would probably tell me about the different champagnes that they offer. He might even tell me about the time a personal Italian Chef named Enrico brought him a Thanksgiving meal while he was 35,000 feet above the Atlantic. But he would almost certainly tell me that he did it all by using earned miles and credit card points, before explaining that if I took his advice, I could too.
And perhaps I could. He makes it all sound so easy with his 10-step process for beginners like myself.
Brian Kelly has been taking advantage of flier miles and credit card points since he was a 13-year old booking his father’s business trips.
This hobby of maximizing points and earning great deals only grew to an obsession when he was flying 180 days out of the year as a Wall Street road warrior. It wasn’t until people started taking notice and asking for tips and advice that he realized he could turn it into a profession, and so he did. In 2011, he kicked the Wall Street gig to the curb and started growing his site, www.ThePointsGuy.com, where he shares his unique skill to 1.5 million visitors a month.
He knew there was an entire world of luxury travels that people were missing out on, not because they didn’t have the money, but because they didn’t know to properly take advantage of the deals offered to them. And so he sought out to change their behavior. Through his website and social media channels, he began building a following. Now, with over a million devotees, ThePointsGuy is educating the masses on how they too can trade in the hostel bed for a 5-star suite.
Bon Voyage indeed.
To see the full case study on ThePointsGuy, click HERE.