PODCAST EP 106
What’s BYOP? 5 Steps to Being Your Brand’s Own Publicist with Annie Scranton
Simon chats with Pace PR President and Founder, Annie Scranton on being your brand's own publicist.Listen Now
Simon Dell: So, I’m lucky to have with me this morning a gentleman by the name of Joshua Webb who is currently down in Melbourne and is the marketing manager for a company called TaxiBox. So, welcome to the show, Joshua.
Joshua Webb: Hello, hi. Thanks for having me.
Simon Dell: Do we go by Joshua or Josh? What’s the preferred name here?
Joshua Webb: You can go with absolutely either one. In all honesty, I started moving to Joshua relatively recently when I’m talking to clients more. I’m talking to clients on the phone. Every time I say Josh the first time, they think I say George, so it could well be my accent or my phone line, but Joshua just eases that little hurdle for the first one. Either way, it’s fine.
Simon Dell: Kind of sounds slightly posher as well.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, has an air of gravitas.
Simon Dell: Alright, now, the other thing we mentioned just before we started, that I’m going to go off on a tangent here as I tend to do, you and I both went to the same university. Now, I will stress that for everybody listening, we went to the same university at very different times because I’m a lot older than you. I graduated in 1995 and you graduated in 2014?
Joshua Webb: Yes, that’s correct. So, just a few years ago.
Simon Dell: Just a few years ago, right. Now, that university was the University of Southampton down in Hampshire in the southern part of the UK for those of you who don’t know where Southampton is. Now, the big question that I’ve got for you, Joshua, is: Which Hall of Residence you lived in?
Joshua Webb: I was in Montefiore, which I think was potentially the recent one.
Simon Dell: Right. No, it was there when I was there because I lived in Connaught, like next door. And the Connaught-Monte kind of animosity was something akin to… It’s like the wallabies in New Zealand. It’s that sort of love-hate relationship between the two, wasn’t it?
Joshua Webb: Yeah, that’s still running relatively strong, or at least it was when I was there, so yes.
Simon Dell: I’m glad to hear that 20 years on, which is really depressing that I’ve just said 20, that the hatred and the animosity is still there. And question, because again, this will interest nobody else listening to this show, but does Stoneham still exist or has that fallen down? Because that was the third Hall of Residence in our little lane.
Joshua Webb: The name doesn’t ring a bell. It could well be that they’ve just renovated it.
Simon Dell: There was a big tower. There used to be a big tower block that was along that road.
Joshua Webb: Oh, that one. Yeah. No, I believe that’s still there, it’s just that it’s now deemed structurally unsound.
Simon Dell: That doesn’t surprise me, some of the shit that went on in there. Those were the best parties, the Stoneham parties. Anyway, right, let’s get onto this. Okay, so TaxiBox: Give us a little bit of a breakdown about who TaxiBox are.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, absolutely. So, TaxiBox, a storage company operating in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. It started in 2010 by two guys called Ben and Jeremy originally starting off in Melbourne. Predominantly, it’s a mobile self-storage company. So, this is where modular storage units are delivered straight to your door, you pack them up, and then we come back and we collect them and keep them in our storage facility until you need them back. That’s the bread and butter of the business. We’ve also relatively recently opened up a local storage facility down here in Melbourne as well, so that’s your more traditional fixed storage units, caravans, et cetera. That’s the overarching part of the business. Mobile self-storage is very much the crux of it.
Simon Dell: I was going to say where do they get the idea from, and obviously that would be easier if I was speaking to them, but do you know their background on that at all?
Joshua Webb: We’re the first mobile self-storage in Australia, but I believe there’s similar running models in America. So, a business trip over there for them kind of set the idea in motion to bring it over here.
Simon Dell: What was their background prior to that?
Joshua Webb: This is a real test of my knowledge of the pair of them, but it was property management and business management between the two.
Simon Dell: There seems to be a big explosion in storage at the moment, and I can probably count two or three near where I live that are fairly new. And to be honest with you, that kind of surprises me because I was under the impression that we as humans are buying less shit and therefore need less storage but apparently not. Is it a big thing, the storage business at the moment? Is it bigger demand or it just that there’s more players moving into the marketplace?
Joshua Webb: No. I think it’s definitely growing. I think what’s essentially spended on is not necessarily whether we’re buying more or less shit but it’s just the size of the property that we have to contain that shit is diminishing a lot. We’re really having to downsize. I think Sydney is potentially the forefront of this in terms of square meters that you’re now paying for and the price that you’re paying per square meter.
TaxiBox and our competitors are finding that people are using us as almost sort of second bedrooms, where it was used to keep clothes in the wardrobe in the second bedroom. Now, they don’t have their second bedroom. We’ve had people come in to access their TaxiBoxes purely to just change their outfits, and pick up their suits, or just the occasional outfits they don’t need to have in the home every day.
Simon Dell: I see you’ve obviously got a big interest in film. You did a BA at University of Southampton with Film Cinema or Video Studies. What is it about a film that gets you excited? Because obviously, film’s such an intrinsic part of marketing these days. Is that something that you’ve kind of found? First of all, where does the love of film come from? Secondly, is it important in marketing these days?
Joshua Webb: Yeah, no, absolutely. I think the love of film is very much kept in the family. My dad’s a film journalist. My sister’s a film journalist. Film is very much part of my upbringing; weird films, wacky films, not just your standard blockbuster fair. I’ve really found an interest in that kind of stuff. That followed me into my degree and how that came about. In terms of where this kind of interest in film has led into my professional career, I definitely agree that I think they’re kind of intrinsically partnered to an extent, depending on your budget, of course.
If you’ve got the budget to go bells and whistles and make a high production TVC, or to really bring through high quality polished ads that you’re serving to your customers and to your key demographic, then fantastic. Of course, you can bring elements from film into that. But I think also, some of the best campaigns that people remember are ones from brands which potentially don’t have the biggest budget and aren’t really trying to rock the world. They’ve just got a few, highly polished key ideas that they managed to get across in a functional manner which speaks to their audience.
Simon Dell: There was a Christmas advert that came out the other week. It was following from all of those big budget John Lewis adverts, and the one with Elton John and all those kind of things. And then the guy that made that heartbreaking Christmas ad, $50 he made it for, I think his name was Phil Beastall. I don’t know if you saw that one but it’s him listening to tapes that his mother recorded for him.
Joshua Webb: No, I haven’t quite seen that one.
Simon Dell: If you get a chance to Google it, his name is Phil Beastall. Everyone out there, go and watch it. He made it for $50. It’ll make you cry. And if it doesn’t make you cry, you’re dead inside. But yeah, those kind of powerful messages in films, I think that’s one of the strongest mediums to get those across.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, no, absolutely. Christmas, certainly in the UK and I think also to an extent over here as well, it almost feels like its own film festival, sort of start of December, end of November, you’ve got all the big players coming through. But now, you’ve got this really low-budget, very simple ad, very clear messaging that you just mentioned. That’s the one that’s resonated with you rather than just another John Lewis effort which probably cost a fair bit.
Simon Dell: Yes, millions of dollars. So, you mentioned back there that you’re a fan of those weird and wacky films. So, you’re going to have to now tell us maybe your top one, your top three films that we should all go and see.
Joshua Webb: Okay, sure. If we start more sensible and go a bit more wacky, so there’s probably my favourite film in the world, I’ll keep going back to it, isn’t necessarily even very good, but it’d be 2000 film Unbreakable with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Big fan of that one.
Simon Dell: There’s the sequel coming out soon, or it’s not, it’s the sequel of the sequel, isn’t it?
Joshua Webb: Yeah. And the whole point of films at the moment is you can’t just have a film, you have to have a universe so you can build spinoffs, and prequels, and those kind of stuff. And I think it’s kind of intrinsically connected in some way through that. But yeah, we’re talking — I’ll be 19 years on, so yeah. That’s probably my go-to should it be rainy someday and you need to work something.
But if we want to go weird and wacky, there’s a film called After Life that came out in Japan in the early 90s. It’s kind of a mock documentary about angels, recreating people’s favourite moments from their lives so that they can continue to watch it run, beating up their chest, and take that into the afterlife. So, if you want something a bit more poetic than Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis punching things, then there’s that one as well.
Simon Dell: If we’ve asked you your best films, we’ll also ask you what’s your worst film. What’s the film that you would switch off in a heartbeat?
Joshua Webb: I went to the Melbourne Film Festival back in August and there was a film that had received such high praise from all corners of the globe called You Were Never Really There with Joaquin Phoenix. It was the most dreadful film I’ve ever seen in my entire life, so please do not watch that film.
Simon Dell: Which is unusual for your convenience. He’s made some good films as well.
Joshua Webb: Exactly. I so wanted to like it and I just couldn’t. I felt like it was a failing on my part how much I disliked it but I’ve come to the decision that, no, it must be the film.
Simon Dell: I’ve switched off many films but only ever walked out one film in the cinema, and that was Dude, Where’s My Car? which I believe has Ashton Kutcher in it. It was a long time ago. I walked out of it. Ashton Kutcher and who’s the guy who played Steve Stifler?
Joshua Webb: It’s three-part names. William Scott something Scott William Murray? Something along those lines. I know he has three names.
Simon Dell: Something something. Here we go, Seann William Scott.
Joshua Webb: Oh, there we go. That was two, about three, I think.
Simon Dell: Yeah, there you go. Yeah, it’s basically… I’ll read the blurb. Just in Chester, two bumbling stoners wake up one morning from a night of partying and cannot remember where they parked their car. Yeah, it’s terrible. It’s really bad. I think it got 3 out of 5 stars on IMDb, so god knows how that happened. But anyway, I mean, look, I think film and video, obviously, massively important part of anybody’s marketing plan.
If you get the chance later on in life, I presume that you’re looking at potentially getting involved in making films. Are you a writer? Are you a director? Are you a producer? Are you something else? What would get you excited?
Joshua Webb: I think from a productions standpoint, being able to help in some way from a purely productions standpoint. I don’t think I have the discipline to be able to go away and take myself off for however many months to write a full screenplay or something in the way. I think that requires far more dedication and discipline that I could potentially lend myself to at this point. But I think…
Simon Dell: Yeah, it does.
Joshua Webb: But also, the marketing side of film excites me more than anything. Just the way that it now needs to sort of not just have posters and trailers but you’ve now got to dedicate yourself to a whole variety. I mean, if you look at the Star Wars films, you can go into the supermarket and there will be bananas with labelling on them, and they’ll have R2-D2 in the labelling because Disney have funded the…
Simon Dell: I haven’t seen R2-D2 bananas yet, but that would be interesting.
Joshua Webb: I’m sure they’re out there. If not, then Disney, if you’re listening.
Simon Dell: There’s something they’re missing there if there isn’t R2-D2 bananas, yeah.
Joshua Webb: They are, yeah. So yeah, I think the film and film marketing for sure would be something that I would potentially like to get into at some stage.
Simon Dell: Yeah. I guess that time and those merchandising has become pretty overt in the last probably 10 years. The other thing I think that’s really important now is that social media buzz that’s created. So, like what was it, two, three days ago, you get the last trailer for — or the first trailer for Avengers: End Game, and that just goes across the internet like wildfire. That’s what gets people excited about film.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, precisely. I mean, I think it was the most viewed YouTube video within 24 hours of all time. Within sort of 28, 48 hours after release, you’ve got people breaking down still by still, trying to look for Easter eggs, and little hits and tips, and all those kind of things. Yeah, it’s a real wave of publicity and sustained marketing. So, it’s not going to go away for them. It’s not like that’s it for Marvel and Avengers for the next three months until they release the new one and then it’s the release of the film. It’s like it’s between now and release that they’re going to have to be updating, and teasing things. Yeah, it’s a real project but it starts from the moment they basically say yes to the film.
Simon Dell: And the other thing I find interesting, is even the small things like shots from the film, like stills, or the poster itself, that was… Joaquin Phoenix is the new Joker, isn’t he? They showed some background behind the scenes shooting of the film, of his new Joker character. And even that goes viral and millions of people watch that, which it isn’t even a trailer. It’s just a snippet of someone behind the scenes in the film.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, precisely. And I think that’s even — it was implemented to combat the fact that people were trying to sneak onto set, and get photos released. And sort of to combat the social media that was coming out, regardless, they thought, “Well, we might as well do it on our own terms.” Like you say, it’s a couple of seconds from behind the scenes stuff and it’s… Even today, it’s still getting the views and still getting talked about. So yeah, it’s a real dedication that needs to come in.
Simon Dell: That’s going to be a tough act to follow as well, Heath Ledger. That’s one of the greatest movie villains I think out there, at least probably in the top five.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, precisely. And I think also Jared Leto in Suicide Squad, getting a less than favourable reaction I think. It kind of rounds that up as well. So, you’ve got to not only try and match Heath Ledger which is no small feat, but then you’ve also got to deal with overcoming all the negative press of seeing another fellow actor not necessarily failing but not being perceived to be as good.
Simon Dell: It’s going to be interesting. The Avengers: End Game is the movie for me next year. I reluctantly have got dragged into the Avengers universe and the Marvel universe. It’s a shame that I think the Sony deal won’t be done in time for Deadpool to rescue the Avengers, but… Because I think what’s what we all want to see. Anyway, okay, so let’s talk about TaxiBox. Let’s talk about that campaign.
From our background, one of the things that… I saw it on Facebook, and I took it, and we discussed it in the Spin Cycle in one of our earlier episodes. It was you guys promoting your one-star reviews, and the caption was… I might get this wrong and you can still correct me. It’s, “We find the one-star reviews so you don’t have to.” Or something along those lines.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, no, sorry, that’s the ones — that or you know, we found the juicy one-star reviews and they’re not even that exciting.
Simon Dell: Alright, cool. Tell me how that all came about. Where did that sort of come from?
Joshua Webb: Yeah, certainly. So, as you mentioned on your show, it kind of came about as a result of the current trend that reviews play. It’s such a huge part of our purchasing decisions as well as our other life choices at the moment. I’ve gone for drinks with friends and they’ve decided not to have another one in case their Uber driver thinks that they’re drunk and gives them a lower score.
So, these reviews, whether it’s you’re receiving them or you’re sort of doling them out, they’re playing such a huge part at the moment. I don’t think as a business you can really afford not to take your reviews seriously. We’re very lucky… Well, I say lucky, but to our core, our business is really quite customer-obsessed and giving good service really comes out of it. So, with more positive reviews, you’ll see a number of them actually not only mentioning their TaxiBox driver is doing an excellent job, but they’ll actually mention them by name, which I think is quite a refreshing change for the industry which for storage has quite of a bit of a reputation for being unpleasant, difficult to work with, not on time, not there when you need them, a bit of a letdown.
So, when you’re seeing positive reviews, it’s really quite good that we have this going through. But we do take our reviews very seriously, especially the negative ones. So, if we do get these notifications coming through, then we’ve got to… Anything less than say a four or five star review, then we’ll look to respond, and get one of the guys on the phone just to follow up, and basically find out what happened, what went wrong, how we can look to resolve it and get things working for the customer. And basically, make sure they’re walking away without having this sort of bad feeling in the mouth.
Simon Dell: I was going to say, a couple of things that come out of that. Essentially, and I think that customer service approach obviously to be commended, but it’s something fairly standard that all businesses really should be doing. But you know, that’s one. But the second thing is I think you’re almost — you’re kind of taking the piss out of people who write one-star reviews, aren’t you?
Joshua Webb: I mean, to an extent, I would say. We definitely want to be showing that we’re self-aware of these reviews and that people are writing these reviews but without ever sort of becoming spiteful. These are our customers at the end of the day. But when we…
Simon Dell: I know. I understand that you have to be diplomatic in saying that. But when you look at the one that we shared on Instagram, it kind of goes… The insinuation in the ad is that people who write one-star reviews can be somewhat pedantic. And certainly, like I requested 10 packing blankets for my boxes, the truck driver delivery… delivery in the boxes only had 9. To write a one-star review with something that is a minor inconvenience would suggest that that person is…At least that’s what I get out of it. I’m not saying everybody gets that out of it.
Joshua Webb: By definition.
Simon Dell: But that’s why I kind of find it so funny.
Joshua Webb: Yeah, exactly. We should be getting 4.5 for that one, right? If it’s only 9/10.
Simon Dell: Absolutely, yeah.
Joshua Webb: With that one in particular, we really felt like that one was one where it kind of, the time of night that it comes through, and the content of the review, and we were basically thinking, “You know what? This is, without going to make too many assumptions, written very much in a sort of spur of the moment, very reactive to something… If they’re storing or moving, it can definitely be a stressful period for them.
It sounds like we definitely have slipped up and potentially very marginally compared to the reaction of the review, but that was something that we did resolve, just to clarify. That one we did resolve with the customer and basically made them happy, but the fact that this lasting one-star review is now what, say, you’re right, if we were to come and decide we needed storage, they’re now going to look at this and think, “Oh, you know what? Maybe they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.”
That lasting impact is really what we wanted to present and highlight, that if you’re looking at reviews, you’re looking at a service, please just take these with a pinch of salt. We’ve done all we can to help people. It’s a very public space now that we deal with for marketing. With social media and with reviews, I think the more and more marketing is now trying to bridge the gap with business and customer as much as possible, but that’s a two-way street, so now it means that people are coming back to you on Facebook with comments, and people are coming back to you with reviews, and… It’s a very public domain in which you now communicate with them not just for customer service but also marketing.
And you know, we’ll come back, and we’ll respond to these reviews, and we’ll look to follow up and look after them as much as possible, but I am not going to run on the assumption that everyone is spending as much time reading the context as they are just looking at the number of reviews.
Simon Dell: It’s interesting because I remember a while back somebody writing a review for Domino’s on Facebook and it went viral. They’d made the criticism that Domino’s had, I don’t know, left the mushroom off a pizza, or they put mushroom on a pizza, or they’ve done something to a pizza that wasn’t what the person had ordered. The review that they wrote on Facebook was suggesting that this failure in the correct construction of the pizza had resulted in an absolute disastrous night, day, week, month, year. It was like the worst thing that had ever happened to them in their life, that someone had made a mistake on their pizza.
That’s why I laughed at the TaxiBox thing because I go, “People who have a one star experience…” The other one that I think of is when people write one-star reviews on TripAdvisor because a single thing went wrong in their holiday. What they don’t do is they don’t sit there and look at that mistake or problem in context of their entire holiday. They just see the one thing that went wrong and then give somebody a one-star review. That, to me, is the problem with reviews in general and this social affirmation of reviews, is that people can write one-star reviews based on the most miniscule and pointless thing that happened to them, that they think is obviously huge, but in the great scheme of things isn’t. That’s what I got from your adverts, was that people who write one-star reviews, not that they shouldn’t be taken seriously, but that they may be exaggerating to a certain degree.
Joshua Webb: Yes, no, absolutely.
Simon Dell: And maybe that’s not where you were going with that, but you know.
Joshua Webb: I think with your example there, with TripAdvisor especially, which are quite anecdotal reviews that come through and you’ve got to think to yourself, “These are the people writing the best example of themselves and these stories.” To fill that kind of lingering, “Well, actually, it sounds like you were potentially in the wrong here and it wasn’t necessarily the hotel or the travel agents.” And you’re thinking if you’re still coming away with that, then what really happened? Yeah, so that’s kind of… Yeah, we wanted to be playful. We’re quite self-aware with how we communicate with our customers. We know our audience. We know what they’re after. And so, we thought this would be quite a fun way to kind of play with that.
Simon Dell: And when you had that idea, then what happened? Was that… I think you said before we started talking that you took it to an agency and they kind of made it come alive? What was the process from pass the idea?
Joshua Webb: The creative came to us, one of those typical over-the-beer scenarios where we’re getting these reviews going through. We’ve kind of… With this one in particular, it was kind of like a — where do we go from here, and it’s just like, how do we turn this one around and really prove that we’ve gone above and beyond, and maybe we actually need to take a step back and really stand by what we’re doing here in the service work frame.
So it kind of came up as, “You know what? Why don’t we kind of present to people who we are and really give them an insight as to our business and then something that they’re going to come away with. So, we came up with that and then we had to, at the time, we had a social media agency, so we basically said, “Look, this is a creative. Can you kind of push this out?” They did the legwork, purely in terms of just finding the right audience that are kind of going to get this, because it is a bit of a…
I don’t know if you have the term, maybe I should say vegemite inside of marmite, but some people love it, some people hate it. So, yeah. the credit was on our side in coming up with the particular review. I also want to confirm we did change the name of the customer just purely from a… There’s enough people out there that can do enough digging to try and make that experience unpleasant for the person that left the review, which is not what we want to do.
Simon Dell: And just the other… The last question on that was, what channels did you guys… I mean, obviously, I saw it on Facebook, What else did you do with it? Did it go anywhere else?
Joshua Webb: That was purely where we went, but it’s social media for Facebook and Instagram. We actually gave a couple of different concepts to the ad agency at the time we used to work with. We’ve got these creatives, one very positive, one talks about the advantages of TaxiBox, and then we’ve got this negative review that we want you to push out as well.
And the negative review, as you probably saw when you came across the ad, got by far the most traction, by far the most engagement with people because then we’re just so — so much in disbelief as to the rationale behind why someone would leave such a negative review for such a small problem. So, when we found this, we were purely pushing out to people on a sort of acquisition front, so those that haven’t necessarily even heard of TaxiBox before.
So, we actually had to make a decision as to, did we want to keep plugging this away, and this is the one that is sitting with people the most, but do we actually want this negative review to be the first time they’ve heard of TaxiBox? It’s actually coming into its own and giving us some really strong engagement and increase our brand awareness to a fair amount. But yeah, no, purely Facebook and Instagram which we felt was the right audience of this kind of thing.
Simon Dell: Is there any other plans to take it sort of bigger, like billboards, or start creating a video, or anything beyond that?
Joshua Webb: Well, I mean, obviously we don’t get too many negative reviews coming through because we’re such a great business. And also, when we do, the ones that we do follow up with, 9 times out of 10, the customer takes the review. So, in all honesty, we only really trialed this with this one review which really stuck with us. So, like I said, we wanted to be self-aware, but we also didn’t want to bring it too much and try hard. It felt like if we do it in a billboard capacity, it’s not one would necessarily live long with this kind of thing.
I kind of imagine say in 12 months’ time, we’ll still be running the same ads, still complaining about Karen and her one star review. I don’t think it has the same kind of longevity. It’s quite clever, and I do enjoy a good billboard that’s very self-aware and quite tongue-in-cheek. I know the koala one when they made fun of the IKEA boarding, that’s one that we enjoyed quite a bit.
And I know they followed that one out with quite a fun, handwritten coupon code off the back of it. So, you know, that’s one where it’s clearly — it’s worked for them.
Simon Dell:Cool. There’s one last question I’m going to ask you, and this is something that you’ve said about 10 minutes ago. Your friend being careful that they’re not too drunk in Uber for fear of getting a low score from the driver. Tell me, is that… Because I haven’t been — It’s not that I’ve stopped drinking willingly. I haven’t had a drink for a while, but is that a real thing? People are actually doing that?
Joshua Webb: I mean, I know — Yeah, there’s one example. I don’t know whether it’s mainstream yet but it’s part of this whole Black Mirror life that we have now where everyone’s taking these reviews on face value. I’ve had some people being like, “Oh no, my Uber rating’s gone down. How has this happened? I was a delight in my Uber. How can they possibly be reviewing..?” Which is again another example. Maybe the driver’s just having a bad day, maybe the last guy was annoying for them.
Simon Dell: I was going to say, because China are introducing that social credit system where you’ll get scores based on your behaviour. If you do something negative, your score goes down. Essentially, what China are doing is just amalgamating all of those reviews that you get on various social platforms and put them altogether and you give a one-off score which, on the face of it, you go, “It doesn’t sound too bad.” You know if someone gets into your Uber, or if someone wants you to come out to their house and fix something, and you look at the thing and they’re an arsehole, you just go, “Well, I don’t really want to do that.” But I guess there’s a fear that your entire life could be upended if all of a sudden you get too many bad reviews.
Joshua Webb: That’s absolutely true. I guess there’s positives and negatives to both for that side. On the one hand, you feel like a company is really taking the piss with something and there’s far less of a chance of them getting away with that because you now have these tools at your disposal to publicly shame them and make them pay. On the other side to that, I’ll never forget the time a friend tweeted to the food company Tesco complaining that they found a screw in their pizza and couldn’t believe how this could happen, and complete outrage to the customer service, and got back to them.
But now later, they realized that this screw actually came from their very own pizza cupboard. They didn’t bother to mention the update to Tesco, so that tweet is now just sitting on Tesco’s page, this outrage which was completely of their own doing. So yeah, it’s a double-edged sword.
Simon Dell: Yeah, yeah. Anyway, alright. Last three questions. What are some of the brands that you admire out there, some of the things that you buy frequently or so on and so forth, that kind of thing?
Joshua Webb: Yeah, sure. So, one of the larger tasks I’ve done since I’ve joined TaxiBox was actually determining brand guidelines, and who our audience is, and how we should message to them. And as part of that, we’ve actually come up with things we quite like, from other private individual campaigns, from other business. For example, that koala, the satirical billboard was quite funny.
The Airtasker Like a Boss campaign which I think actually has now been taken down because of a legal dispute, but we enjoyed that just for its lightheartedness. MailChimp have a Fast Five Game which you can only play after you send a campaign. It’s quite relatively hidden. It’s a bit of an Easter egg which we found quite engaging. We actually have our own game on our own site. It’s kind of our own take on Tetris called TaxiBlocks where people can get money off the TaxiBox just by playing the game.
So, as a marketing tool, it’s quite fun in that there isn’t really a benefit to us having this feature, and the cost of actually building a game and putting it on the site. But people really enjoy it, and they talk about it, and they tell their friends. It’s got a real bit of fun for us which is something we came to bring into the less than exciting world of storage. But yeah, no, I think that is individual. It’s kind of like having fun add-ons which clearly shows that the businesses have thought about their audience and thought about giving their service a bit of a liveliness and fun.
I’d also say coming from the UK where films, games, music, it’s all digital, and retailers no longer sell physical copies and those that were are now closing down in droves. So, the fact that JB Hi-Fi coming over here for the last 12 month is still running very successfully and unapologetically old-fashioned. They’re still handwriting the prices on the old cardboard and it feels very 1990’s. It’s an interesting approach to sticking to your guns.
Simon Dell: Yeah, it does, yeah. I mean, I’m kind of a… Yeah, this whole JB Hi-Fi thing, yeah, a bit of a love-hate relationship there. I enjoy going in there. You know what? It’s weird. I enjoy walking in there and then I kind of go, “Yeah, this is just frustrating me. Now I can’t find… I don’t know why I came in.” It’s a bit of a challenge, that one, yeah. Okay. Alright, second to last question: What’s next for you? What’s 2019 got in store for you?
Joshua Webb: 2019? Well, I’ve been at the business for 8 months so far. I originally came in as the marketing coordinator before moving to my new role for marketing manager. So, my two large projects so far have been one, the brand guidelines I mentioned and also actual kind of data recording, and analytics, and attribution recording. So, 2019 for me is basically taking those two, combining them and then really bringing out some engaging audience campaigns which really see the traffic coming through to our site and the leads that you would expect to come from that.
We are revamping our videos that we have on our site at the moment as well, which is an exciting project for us. There’s a whole host of videos that we have which kind of explain the product, and how it works, and basically trying to make the service as seamless as possible for our customers. We’ve got new products that we’re bringing out from the tech side. As of last Friday, we now have a really cool storage calculator where you can basically add all the items that you have in your home and it will tell you how best to pack your TaxiBox and how many TaxiBoxes you need. It’s very interactive and quite fun. So, being able to bring that through into a branding communication is really good.
We have live driver tracking, very similar to what you have with UberEats as well. So, there’s tech coming out in 2019 which I’m really keen to basically bring out the masses and expose for various systems. We ran a TVC campaign towards the middle of the year as well, and we saw there was a startling increasing in our brand awareness as well in Brisbane. We then ran a series of surveys to see who’d had a TaxiBox for our target audience and just the uplift was really phenomenal, which is really encouraging to see as well. So, keen to kind of bring through and follow up on that as well.
Simon Dell: Cool. Last question: If anybody wants to get a hold of you, if they want to ask you a question or whatever they might just want to… They might have gone to Southampton University at the same time as you and me. But what’s the best way of getting a hold of you? Where’s the easiest place to find you?
Joshua Webb: Well, they can either come through to us if they want to chat all things TaxiBox and have a look at our one-star reviews. We’re @taxiboxstorage for Facebook and Instagram. We don’t utilize twitter just because it doesn’t necessarily fit in with our target demographic as much, but there’s @taxiboxstorage, whereas if you want to chat with Southampton Uni, then it’s josh_web100.
Simon Dell: Well, mate, it’s been fantastic having you on the show, and it’s nice to have another Southampton alumni to talk to. Look, wish you all the best for Christmas and the New Year, and thank you very much for being on the show.
Joshua Webb: No problem. It’s been a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.