Braintree is a global payments platform that powers businesses at the forefront of mobile disruption. Knowing that its target audience was hyper-competitive and loved to cycle, the brand created the Tour de Tech, a cycling competition where 50 of London’s most innovative companies could compete in a virtual race around the U.K.
Objective and Context:
Leaders of mobile and e-commerce companies are a sought-after crowd, and they are typically averse to traditional advertising. To reach them, Braintree needed to show how its platform could play a part in their everyday lives. It created an engaging brand experience that improved the lives of these hardworking, mobile-savvy, on-the-go entrepreneurs.
Braintree’s target audience was leaders of mobile and e-commerce companies. It sought to reach out to the top 50 London-based mobile-first startups.
Getting the attention of hot startups is no simple feat, since everyone wants a piece of them. Instead of leveraging traditional B-to-B marketing methods, such as cold calls or boring sales pitches, Braintree created an experience that fit seamlessly into their target audience’s lifestyle. Partnering with urban cycling program Buzzbike, it created The Tour de Tech, a six-month bike race that took riders on a virtual tour of the U.K. without ever having to leave London.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Fifty of London’s most innovative companies were given Braintree-branded bikes that were connected to the custom-built Tour de Tech app via Bluetooth. From October 2016 to April 2017, more than 200 riders raced using the Tour de Tech app. The race was divided into stages, each representing a leg between two cities in the U.K. Companies cycled as teams, and the first to collectively bike the miles of a leg won that stage and a prize, such as in-house massages, for their office. Riders could watch the leaderboard in real time, motivating the competition. For teams who trailed behind in the rankings, Braintree kept them encouraged by awarding them individual performance badges and prizes. The brand also put together three parties during the competition for startups to network, fueling connectivity and competition within the start-up community. At the end, the overall winning company won a multichannel ad campaign worth 50,000 GBP to help their business grow.
The mobile app allowed Braintree to track participants’ movements throughout London and optimize its outdoor media presence, enabling the brand to position outdoor posters where they would be seen and further drive awareness among startups. Similarly, the branded bikes served as out-of-home advertisements, showcasing the Braintree logo around London.
In six months, Braintree went from having little awareness with this audience to having a highly engaged community at the heart of London’s tech scene. Engagement with the Tour de Tech remained consistent over the six-month period, resulting in 50,000 cumulative miles biked by all riders and an average app engagement of 229 minutes per rider.
In addition, the audience loved what they learned about Braintree, and consideration for the brand among the 200 riders increased by over 70 percent. They also talked about their positive experience, generating over one million organic social impressions. Most importantly, there was a meaningful business impact: the Tour de Tech generated 120 million in sales leads.