Interview With Red Rover
Describe your product or service:
“We offer local and long-distance moving services as well as Fetchable Storage, allowing customers to schedule a move that works best for them.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Pete founded PODS, retired, then wanted to start a new business in the industry using and improving the practices he found best - thus was Red Rover.”
How is your startup funded, and what advice do you have for other founders seeking funding?
“Red Rover is funded through investors, namely through capital investments from Oppenheimer & Co. Advice: Pete would suggest that you underpromise and overdeliver, but more importantly, do your homework on potential investors -- especially if they're institutional. Check in with other companies they have partnered with and ask the CEO what type of partner they've been.”
How big is your team, and what qualities do you look for when hiring new employees?
“We have 95 employees and look for people that are truly hungry to learn and grow in a startup organization. I have a high standard for work ethic and passion for that work. We try to weed out applicants who are just applying for a “job” that is a stepping stone to their next one.”
Who is your target market? How did you determine this, and what strategies did you use to reach and engage them?
“Red Rover's target market varies by market! We are in a total of 15 major markets, leading to a variety of different customers, however, the main type of movers we see are northerners looking to come south (Florida is our largest in-bound market with nearly 50% of our customer base making that move) or those up north moving to urban, city living areas. We also service many young families and couples. We determined this through internal customer research and reach these individuals through targeted advertising and intentional, earned media placements.”
What's your primary marketing strategy?
“Red Rover engages in ongoing advertising partnerships as well as partners with a PR & Marketing agency to deliver earned media placements.”
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What has been your most successful marketing campaign, and why do you think it worked so well?
“I’m a huge believer in advertising, but I’ve found that it isn’t a single campaign or tactic that works best. It is a mix of tactics that both build the brand and drive conversion. That mix of tactics is going to be different for every business and, for Red Rover, it even varies by location. The space is much different than it was 20 years or even five years ago. When I started PODS, we basically used TV and the Yellow Pages, and it worked! Now, with the rise of digital advertising, marketing has become much more sophisticated and complex. With so many potential advertising mediums it's important to narrow down which ones are most effective for your target audience. Like many aspects of starting a business, a lot of marketing comes down to trial and error, but you have to commit to marketing.”
What do you consider to be your company's biggest competitive advantage, and how do you maintain it?
“Red Rover is the uniquely customer-friendly solution to the age-old challenges of moving and storage. We have empowered the consumer to choose from a broad range of solutions depending on their budget and their ability (or desire) to do some of the ‘work,’ such as driving a truck. Local or long distance moving, storage at your location or at one of our Storage Centers, DIY or DIFM (do it for me), book online or over the phone – nobody offers a more customizable experience. We maintain this advantage by never being satisfied with our service offerings. We are constantly trying to innovate on how we can provide better services to our customers while driving efficiencies into our operations.”
What were the biggest challenges you faced in the early stages of building your startup, and how did you overcome them?
“Originally, the idea for Red Rover was brought to the PODS team and denied. So, in order to bring Red Rover to life, Pete had to leave PODS and many years later build investments to start his company.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“It's important to have a product that is immediately recognized as a true alternative to the current offerings available. Don't try and go to market with a fully developed solution because undoubtedly the consumer will dictate what the final product should look like.”
What is your #1 piece of advice for startup founders?
“It is important to stay nimble and flexible during your growth phase. Ultimately, you want to deliver the product that consumers need and are looking for rather than having to convince the consumer they should use your product.”