Steady Stream of Media Buzz Elevates Brand in Crowded Space
Braintree hired Mission North in April 2013 to bring its “story” of payment innovation beyond its core audience and onto the global stage while proving its credibility as a global platform for development (akin to PayPal and Google) serving international developers and merchants of all sizes. Our primary communications goal was to elevate the company’s profile in the business and broadcast media through proactive campaigns that mapped back to concrete business momentum and product development initiatives.
In a market crowded with media darlings, Mission North focused on communicating Braintree’s core differentiator as the startup that other fast-growing, successful startups partner with to launch mobile commerce innovation and grow internationally.
We started by leveraging industry trends and current events to pitch unique stories and exclusive opportunities to specific journalists. For instance, to draw attention to Braintree’s expertise in helping businesses expand in international markets, Bateman placed an exclusive story in Fast Company that focused on the risks of “clone shops” like the one created by the Samwer brothers in Germany. They became famous for cloning American-born businesses, such as Groupon, in Europe. The resulting article, Why You Need to Go International as Fast as Possible, positioned Braintree’s CEO Bill Ready as a forward-thinking business leader with a solid understanding of the challenges that businesses face when growing internationally.
Another key strategy we used was to capitalize on partnerships and corporate news that would solidify Braintree’s affiliation with mobile innovation and fellow innovators. This campaign started in late April when the co-founder of Google Wallet, Rob von Behren, joined Braintree as the lead engineer with responsibility for advancing Braintree’s mobile commerce products. We secured interviews for Rob with top-tier media, including TechCrunch and New York Times, in which he discussed his journey from Google to Square and finally to Braintree. This effort also shared CEO Bill Ready’s mobile vision and together he and Von Behren outlined Braintree’s future roadmap for success.
The next news opportunity came when Braintree was ready to announce a new Venmo Touch offering to financial services companies. To make the most of the announcement, we leveraged Braintree’s partnership with Simple, a startup that is changing the way people bank. The mobile banking service was featured as the first to offer Braintree’s one touch mobile payments technology to its account holders. We offered select media the opportunity to speak with executives from Braintree and Simple and leveraged an industry event appearance to garner more than 20 hits in technology, business and financial press.
By focusing on Braintree’s core differentiators as “the startup’s startup” with developer cred, the payments provider that could help growing businesses expand into new markets, and the brand that helps mobile innovators create new mobile commerce experiences, the PR program contributed to the company’s most momentous year yet. By the end of Q3 2013, Braintree was processing $12 billion in transactions worldwide, $4 billion of which were on mobile devices. These impressive metrics led the company to become a hot acquisition target and on September 26, 2013, eBay announced its intention to buy Braintree for $800 million.
Through a series of well-orchestrated events leveraging product innovation, strategic partnerships, company milestones and key client results, Braintree garnered 750 top-tier media hits between April 1 and Dec. 31, not including an additional 400+ stories published about the acquisition.