BOMGAR: The small company.
The small company is Bomgar, but that wasn’t the name of the company when we first started working for them.
The original name was Network Streaming, an Internet company located in Ridgeland, Mississippi, supplying remote support for computer networks.
The founder and CEO of Network Streaming is Joel Bomgaars, an entrepreneur in his twenties who started the company in college.
Network Streaming’s three major competitors, LogMeIn, Citrix and Webex were much larger and more established than our client.
- Change the name from Network Streaming to Bomgaars Corp.
- Bomgaars.com was not available so Bomgar.com was used instead. (And Joel Bomgaars changed his name to Joel Bomgar.)
- Focus the brand on a unique feature, the appliance box.
- Focus on the enterprise market, not small and medium-size businesses.
By 2012, Bomgar had achieved its primary goal, to become the leader in the enterprise market with more than $28 million in revenues. Total revenues for that year were $38 million.
- Bomgar . . . $28,795,749
2. LogMeIn . . . $24,984,000
3. WebEx . . . . $23,233,264
4. Citrix . . . . . $23,200,000
A message from Joel Bomgar in the year 2012: “When you first met with us in January of 2007, we had just finished doing $5.7M in revenue in 2006. We did $32M in 2011 and are on track to do $38M in 2012. You are a very big part of that revenue growth!!!”
Joel Bomgar is now moving into politics. He sold a majority share of his company to a private equity firm, but kept a minority share and remains chairman of Bomgar Corp.
Everest: The startup.
The first problem was the name. What should he call his service without using such turn-off words like “death” or “funeral?”
The second problem was the visual. What visual trademark should he use without such turn-off illustrations like cemetery monuments?
We solved both problems by using a double-entendre, Everest, a word that can be pronounced two ways:
- Ever rest, a euphemism for death and
- Everest, the world’s highest mountain.
The mountain became the visual hammer for Everest. And the battlecry was being first in the new category of funeral concierge.
After a decade of work, Everest funeral planning and concierge service now has more than 25 million participants.
Great Wall Motors: The large company.
The large company is Great Wall Motor, one of five large Chinese automobile companies, including Chery, JAC, Geely and BYD.
We started working for Great Wall Motor in the year 2009 in conjunction with Ries China, our affiliate in Shanghai.
Great Wall, like many other Chinese automobile companies was making a full line of vehicles: Minivans, sedans, trucks and SUVs.
Even worse, Great Wall was marketing nine different models.
Focus the entire company on one model, Haval, the company’s SUV vehicle. This was a long-term recommendation because Great Wall had production facilities and dealer commitments that needed to be phased out. Currently, 80 percent of Great Wall’s production is Haval SUVs.
A typical Haval advertisement with the slogan: “Haval: The leader in economical SUVs under 100,000 RMB.” (About $14,000.)
So why did we recommend SUVs when Chinese research showed that most customers preferred sedans because they were more prestigious? We figured that the other Chinese automobile companies would focus their resources on sedans, leaving Great Wall with the opportunity to dominate the SUV category, which they eventually did.
Four years later, Great Wall Motors became the most-profitable Chinese automobile company. Its profits that year were greater than the total profits of the other four large Chinese automobile companies.
“This Great Wall was built on SUVs” was the headline of a BusinessWeek article, July 25, 2013. In four years, Great Wall sales were up 5.1 times. Great Wall profits were up 8.6 times. Great Wall stock was up 12.3 times.