DEMO Traction will be in Boston on September 16, 2015. For more information and to register click here
There’s a delicate and precise instrument we all rely on every day. The problem with this gadget? It tends to break easily if you drop it on the cold hard floor. A startup called StayMobile might have the perfect answer (and the perfect name). Getting your phone fixed is about to get much easier. The company provides an exceptionally good lesson in how to capture market share.
Just look at these numbers. There’s a Staymobile location inside of Walmart today at about 17 Wal-Mart stores, but they’re ramping up to 50 in the next year. You can get your screen repaired, buy a case, or get tips from their expert employees. StayMobile has tight relationships with about 100 schools right now (K-12) but will make a dramatic jump to around 250 in the next 12 months. They even have 23 brick-and-mortar stores and will increase to about 60 more in the next 12 months.
What’s so interesting about all of this growth is the strategy behind it. The core mission is to focus on the ecosystem around phones. StayMobile supports the educators in schools as much as they repair the phones of the students. They educate and train school reps and parents and now manage about 250,000 devices (e.g., the ones that are working). This is essentially like doing free marketing, because everyone in the community finds out about StayMobile long before they need to find out about StayMobile. They pump up awareness, then sales.
The current 'store and Walmart' propagation strategy is multi-faceted. In 2014, they had about 10 stores, all franchises. They now have 24 brick-and-mortar stores (e.g., not a Staymobile location inside of Walmart) and six of them are company owned. Of the 27 new stores they will open in the next two months, 22 are company owned. So, they have a hybrid model (both company owned and franchise) that is accelerating growth. Yet, they are also adding Staymobile locations inside of Walmart faster than anyone expected, including the big push at Wal-Mart and one “secret sauce” expansion they didn’t want to reveal yet.
To guide all of this rapid growth, StayMobile even hired a new CEO. Brian Hutto has experience at Best Buy and Home Depot. He was involved in ramping up the Geek Squad at Best Buy, which also helps people with post-sale issues. It means, next time you shop at Wal-Mart, bring that busted phone. You might just walk out with a fully functional device.
Editor’s note: Traction Watch is a new column focused obsessively on growth, and is a companion to the DEMO Traction conference series, which brings together high-growth startups with high-potential customers. The next DEMO Traction will take place in Boston on September 16, 2015. Growth companies can apply to present, or those similarly obsessed can register here to attend.