Category Creation on Steroids

CHALLENGE

Today’s digital brands — from news media and ecommerce businesses to travel sites and SaaS platforms — need to deliver fast and reliable experiences to their visitors. To maintain these online experiences, companies turn to content delivery networks (CDNs), which help serve their online content efficiently and act as a safeguard for unexpected traffic surges that might come from a popular story or an attack designed to take their servers offline. Yet traditional CDNs can be cumbersome and actually inhibit engineers from making website changes quickly. Fastly, founded by engineers, initially made a name for itself as a CDN “for and by developers” and solved this roadblock by putting control back in its customers hands. Yet with changing technology comes changing customer expectations for faster, better, and safer experiences. As a result, Fastly’s offerings were expanding to meet these needs. The company wanted to show current and prospective customers that it was more than a CDN and was instead a scalable platform of solutions for the modern digital experience.

STRATEGY

Our strategy was to boldly disassociate Fastly from the traditional CDN market by staging a big bang media campaign to unveil their new vision, product capabilities, customer impact and category positioning. Fastly was no longer a CDN, but an Edge Cloud Platform for delivering fast, secure and scalable digital experiences. Fastly’s new category positioning was born out of Bateman Group’s brand accelerator methodology, including a series of working sessions with key stakeholders to articulate the company’s point of view on the current digital landscape, what it meant to be an “edge cloud platform,” the unique value propositions for customers and their consumers, and differentiation from competitors.

We also identified unique customer case studies that brought the new solutions and entire platform to life for media and for prospective sales targets. Customers like New York Times and Nordstrom Rack were tapped to share their experiences with the Fastly platform while simultaneously highlighting their own innovation in delivering cutting-edge digital experiences.

We created a press release for each of the three new products to be launched, which gave the sales team materials and approved messaging to share on calls and in meetings. In addition, we created an overarching vision press release that articulated the full edge cloud platform story to encourage message pull-through in news coverage. Armed with these specialized media assets and vertical messaging, we were able to target multiple media beats — from retail to security to general business — with one news moment. The team secured media briefings with valuable vertical trades and general technology media, with feature stories in Computerworld, Women’s Wear Daily, and more. In addition, the case studies garnered coverage in core enterprise publications Data Center Knowledge and The New Stack.

IMPACT

By tying Fastly’s product news to a larger company vision and broad industry trends around digital content consumption, the PR campaign drove coverage that positioned Fastly as a leader in a newly-emerging category. As edge computing began to take off, Fastly became the natural go-to expert on the subject for media. Even more importantly, the resulting coverage supported the sales team’s efforts, which reported a 225 percent increase in inquiries following the platform announcement, both new leads and in opportunities to upsell existing customers. Additionally, the vision news created a rallying cry for the internal team at Fastly, solidifying enthusiasm for the company’s short and long-term goals.

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