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Freightos Is Prepared to Get Lucky and Build Their Brand With Data at Speed!

In our continuing series on Branding Marketing and Messaging in Startup Nation, we focus on how Freightos has become extraordinarily well-known in a market that is not well branded. Follow these links to Part 1 and Part 2.

Sometimes you need to get lucky. But as Jim Collins says in Good To Great, “The critical question is not ‘Are you lucky?’ but ‘Do you get a high return on luck?’”

We got a high return on luck called Eytan Buchman who made freight and Freightos sexy. Early in the life of Aleph, someone introduced Eytan — born in Chicago, raised in Jerusalem and recently released from the Army’s Foreign Press relations bureau — to my partner Eden who met Eytan on our sun-drenched rooftop on Rothschild Blvd. Some 30 minutes into the meeting, Eden bounced through the glass doors, motioned to me and said, “This guy is good, you should meet him.” I met him and said Freight is your calling! The next day, he met Zvi Schreiber, the British-born and Israeli-raised founder and CEO of Freightos, and the next day he started work at Freightos. Boom! Now, Freight is Sexy.

There is a message in this story that extends beyond the importance of recruiting talented people. It is even more important than Zvi’s understanding that he needed to get after branding immediately and that to make freight-forwarding exciting would be an international process that needed a global skill set. The key factor was the speed in which Zvi and Eytan jumped on the opportunity and then quickly seized on multiple branding opportunities to change the Company’s vector. They were prepared to be lucky.

The “Expert” in the headline is Dr. Zvi Schreiber, Founder and CEO of Freightos

Freightos uses speedy response to insert their brand quickly into the news. They deeply understand that the core of the story does not need to be about them or Freightos in order to insert their brand. They are prepared to be lucky by having tools, items, facts and figures that can be inserted into the news. When Hanjin, the big ocean carrier went bankrupt, Eytan and Zvi were right there with data to insert into news articles and quotes on the relevance of the news to shipping prices. They positioned themselves through Hanjin’s bankruptcy as THE authority on freight pricing and capacity. This is called news-jacking. They could not have predicted the bankruptcy but they were prepared to get lucky and get a return on it through speed.

Here is how Eytan described to me his approach to “news-jacking”:

Keeping your ear to the ground is the most important aspect of news-jacking. Identify relevant (and tangential) industries, verticals, outlets and reporters, slowly build up a relationship…and listen. News travels fast so when opportunity strikes, you need to move faster.

To get started, grab a piece of papers and see what you have in terms of:

Knowledge: In what areas do people in your company have domain authority? Past experience and current role all work.

Data: In what areas do you have credible, authoritative, and (ideally) proprietary data? Unique data is helpful, unique data with a unique perspective is ever better.

Then wait for something to come around, come up with your two cents, and push it out to industry contacts.

Note the use of data to become an authority. Freightos has excelled at this. This opaque and old-fashion industry has minimal data, less transparency and little interesting content. This vacuum has motivated Freightos to become the data kings of freight. Freightos’ plethora of data and data products such as a freight cost calculator for Amazon shippers stands in stark contrast to the opacity and obfuscation of the freight forwarding industry. It also builds on Amazon’s fast growing dominance.

Freightos’ open data versus the traditional players’ complex opacity creates the critical friction needed to build every good brand and story. Buchman told me,

“Data should be everywhere. It should guide marketing channels selection, content creation, it should feature prominently in your content, and it should be used to make content work with leak-proofed funnels. On a regular basis, the content marketing that really takes off at Freightos — the kind that picks up Wall Street Journal hits and organic traffic for years — is all about data.“

Freightos Mystery Shopping Report

As boring as this industry is, journalists want facts and figures. Freightos uses ingenious methods to create evermore relevant data. Earlier this year, Eytan led Freightos to do a mystery shopping report on global freight forwarders. It produced fascinating and proprietary results, juicy nuggets and what Eytan calls “bespoke content.” It is the gift that keeps on giving and giving. Remember, journalists are under a lot of pressure. They have deadlines and they do not have a lot of time for research. The more you give them data , juicy tidbits and nuggets of news FOR FREE, the more they will use you and make you and your brand an authority in that industry. Feed them well-baked information. Share generously.

Good content goes beyond journalists too. When done right, it ignites an interest loop that brings prospects to Freightos for customized presentations of reports and kicks off a B2B sales cycle.

So far, we have covered Freightos ability to take advantage of luck through preparedness and speed. We have also shown the importance of data, and feeding it to journalists but the Great Gatsby lurks in the background and he reminds us of the need to be consistent and I would say persistent as well. Freightos did two things unusual for a startup but something that was uniquely attractive for an under-covered industry such as freight. They launched a freight pricing index that is updated by their unmatched database of freight rates and routes. In an industry where some benefit from the lack of transparency, Freightos swam upstream and tapped into their unique data assets to create the industry’s stock ticker. And contrary to current data products that costs thousands of dollars, they provided it for free. They have quickly become the industry’s pricing index!

The second way Freightos consistently pushed their brand was by solidifying their role as the harbingers of innovation in an industry starving for technological progress. They took advantage of the incumbents’ lack of familiarity with innovation to become the news authority and they deliver that authoritative information and perspective consistently.

The Freightos LogTech review is a quarterly summary of innovations in the logistics space. Logtech Review has enabled Freightos to capture mindshare across its customer base, investors interested in logistics tech as well as journalists and other industry stakeholders. They also capture contact details of those downloading the report, enabling them to map who is interested in the space, a potential customer or influencer. The quarterly cadence helps to persistently reinforce the consistent gestures that Gatsby referenced. In Freightos case that would be innovation, trusted authority, data, and transparency.

Freightos has built a brand in an industry with little pizzazz and less brands. By combining data-driven speedy news jacking, data products, data-driven unique content reports and a data-packed news-letter, they have built themselves as a go-to authority for journalists and customers alike. Importantly, the purpose of building your brand is not the brand itself. That is pure vanity. Brand promise and visibility should drive very tangible results. Freightos uses its brand awareness to secure speaking slots at key conferences, drive top-of-funnel — higher quality — leads from prospects, and, ultimately, tapping them as brand ambassadors themselves.

In our next post, we will cover how you can use your native assets to build highly engaging content marketing.

**To learn more about this topic you can watch our content marketing crash course on Aleph Facebook page

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Aleph is a venture capital fund focused on partnering with great Israeli entrepreneurs to build large, meaningful companies and impactful global brands. It is a partnership of Michael Eisenberg, Eden Shochat, Yael Elad, Aaron Rosenson and Tomer Diari. Visit Jobs.aleph.vc

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