Brand Thunder’s Power of Persistent Connection

Brand Thunder’s Power of Persistent Connection

Patrick Murphy, founder and CEO

What is the name of your business and URL?

Brand Thunder http://brandthunder.com

A brief synopsis of the website / application:

Brand Thunder – where you can create, find or have us build an extreme makeover for the Internet browser.

These are interactive browser themes, an easy-to-install browser add-on that transforms a user’s drab web-browser into an immersive experience from their favorite sports team, entertainment franchise or Internet site. This experience remains in the browser regardless of the web site being visited.

The themes can feature official logos, colors, images and style, plus content and functionality that extend browser’s capabilities. They often include video, music players or other Internet widgets. Theme publishers enjoy new revenue streams, expanded sponsorship and advertising inventory, and enhanced ROI for their web site through this persistent communication channel to their online consumer.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

It was bootstrapped to start, but like many startups, the business model needed to change. It was a shift from monetizing solely on large upfront fees to one with multiple revenue streams but weighted more heavily on an advertising-based annuity, which are smaller but longer term. When the early successes proved unable to sustain the business until it reached scale, funding was pursued and secured. In Columbus, OH, TechColumbus and Ohio TechAngels are the path for entrepreneurs to get that early-stage funding and support.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?

Conduit.com are the masters in the space of helping sites extend their content beyond the confines of their own site. They offer a toolbar wizard that makes it easy for any site to build their own community toolbar, add a stunning array of widgets and content and share it with their audience through free ad banners and other tools.

When people hear browser add-on, there’s an immediate association between Conduit’s product and ours. There is a similar value proposition in the persistent communication channel between the publisher and the user. There’s a huge difference in the visual aspects of a toolbar and a browser theme. It’s the difference between a looking at a regular motorcycle vs. one that comes out of West Coast Choppers. One can make you say “cool,” the other “Wow!”

Brand Thunder’s Power of Persistent ConnectionWhy would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

Every business needs to sell its product and there are two sales approaches typically followed – hunting and farming. The browser theme is a killer-farming tool for any online site wanting to deepen its connection with its online audience.

We regularly see:

  • More site traffic – 8-12x increase over the average visitor
  • More Facebook page views – 20% users visit daily
  • More user engagement, Marketing Sherpa covered how the theme delivered over 90% click through for a campaign run in the browser theme. http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=31949#

That kind of engagement, for any affinity-marketing tool, is pretty amazing and this one is free. The business, however, needs to promote it regularly and over time. Without that promotional support, there won’t be a large enough audience of users to significantly impact the business. With some level of promotional support, it’s pretty common to move 10% of a site audience into the browser theme and as a result into the category of Super Fan.

How could you effectively use these tools?

The browser theme is an excellent way to help ensure the return on investment of your web site. The theme drives users back to key content and commerce areas on your site through the buttons in the theme. In addition, RSS feeds that supply the news ticker in the browser theme are a large driver of visits back to your site. The news content is the constant invitation of what’s new, exciting and needs to be seen. Facebook and Twitter integration into the theme also increases engagement for a business’s social media presence.

The browser theme is an effective tool for getting users back to a web site on a more frequent and regular basis. The business should know what to do from there.

A short bio of your company:

Brand Thunder formed in April 2007 to leverage the power of customization within the web browser and offer companies a compelling, patent-pending solution for creating a more persistent presence with their Internet consumer. Brand Thunder has branded the browser and extended its functionality for some of the most recognizable brands in sports, music and the Internet including: Bob Marley, CBSSports.com College Network, CollegeHumor, The Huffington Post, IGN, Mercedes, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, Universal Music, WeatherBug and many more.

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

http://Brandthunder.com/blog

Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each

http://facebook.com/brandthunder

http://twitter.com/brandthunder

YouTube – Do you have a YouTube video URL that you can share with us, and allow us to publish with your story (Actual video our readers should watch within the story, looks something like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JryvKNIbdA)

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XMp5o3FXp8&feature=channel_video_title

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

12

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

We could use an amazing PHP developer and web programmer/analyst that’s experienced with high-traffic web applications, API development and noSQL databases.

Brand Thunder’s Power of Persistent ConnectionWhat other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

LinkedIn. Using LinkedIn has been a great tool to farm for contacts and actual names within targeted prospects.

Jigsaw. Jigsaw has been a great source for getting the contact information after identifying who to contact.

Less Annoying Software. A great CRM to manage contacts and sales process. Very simple, not overwhelming, and easy to use. Less Annoying is tailored for smaller businesses.

Follow Up Then. This is a unique email-reminder service. When sending out emails, Bcc @followupthen.com and get an email reminder to follow up with that recipient. Example, [email protected] will send a reminder email two weeks after the original email.

Smart Phone. This sounds silly, but making yourself available and reachable at all times throughout the day is key. Responsiveness to emails has proven very beneficial as well.

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