BNNano of Burlington, NC is one of only two firms in the United States that manufacture high-purity boron nitride nanotubes, a very rare material with virtually unlimited applications from industry and the military to medical technology.
In less than one year, the BNNano founders started the firm, funded their venture through a private raise, set up manufacturing and closed their first customer orders. They had created a great product in record time and were ready to get the word out and support their sales activities.
A startup company with a new product and restricted resources, BNNano was facing challenges that are typical of many such firms today.
- Awareness & Education. Because of the novelty of the product, it had to be presented to potential customers in a crisp, down-to-earth way that cut through science jargon. The more quickly customers can understand how the product will solve their problems, the faster the product adoption and sales closures.
- Focus & Flexibility. The BNNano product can be used in many different markets and in many different applications, so an initial focus had to be established to avoid diffuse and ineffective sales efforts. At the same time, the firm needed to remain open to other opportunities and able to adjust quickly and produce new marketing materials in a timely fashion.
- Cost-Effectiveness. BNNano did not have the luxury of an in-place marketing team or a large marketing budget. They needed solutions that were both cost-effective to implement and easy to maintain in-house by BNNano employees who did not have experience in the design of marketing materials or advanced graphic design tools.
- Turnaround Time. Several key customer meetings and trade shows were rapidly approaching so any solution needed to be completed within a very short period of time.
Working closely with BNNano, we moved quickly to overcome the challenges faced in the allotted time and budget.
- Interview & Plan. BNNano founders described the materials science of nanotechnology that forms the foundation of their product. Follow-up interviews with the founders revealed specific uses of the material and identified three markets where these applications would be of particular interest to customers. We used this information to create simple explanations of the underlying science that could be quickly understood by non-technical customers.
- Creation of Microsoft Word Templates. We created a general template in MS Word that included the BNNano logo/header and address footer, and selected fonts and format for a clean and consistent template appearance. We wrote boilerplate content that appears in all templates (e.g. a simple definition of nanotechnology) and wrote simple narrative copy based on our interviews that honed in on applications specific to each market. We created graphical banners for the templates that shared a common look-and-feel but were differentiated by images and colors to quickly identify each market template.
- Template Support. In addition to the MS Word templates that we created, we also generated various support elements including PDF versions of the templates and the custom banner graphics used in the templates.
Templates for the first three markets were completed within the available time and budget. MS Word and PDF versions were delivered to BNNano along with the template support materials.
Written in conversational AP style, BNNano can quickly copy our content from the Word templates into a blog post or page on the BNNano website for SEO-friendly searches.
BNNano can easily and quickly alter the content of each Word template in-house and export to PDF as required. Content changes may reflect new applications and information or to customize each template for individual customers.
The PDF versions of the templates may be easily shared via email attachment, or inexpensively produced by professional quick-print services for use in customer meetings and at trade shows.
As BNNano continues to expand its sales and marketing activities, we will continue our support by creating custom banners in the established look-and-feel, and by writing narrative content that engages and informs the growing number of BNNano customers.