Success Story Supply Chain

The race towards self-driving success 

Client

Venti

Project & Deliverables

Strategy & Planning, PR & Awareness

Introduction

Category leadership & revolutionizing logistics 

The fast-growing autonomous vehicles (AVs) space has drawn billions of investment dollars during the past several years. In logistics and industrial settings, AVs are on the verge of explosive growth.  

Among the companies in this emerging space is Venti Technologies. Wyle and fellow MIT professors Daniela Rus and Saman Amarasinghe started Venti in 2018. The founders grew the startup from four workers to its current 120-person team representing 16 nationalities.

After two successful financing rounds—a $8.2 million Seed round and a $28.8 million A round, during a tech downturn—the startup was looking to take its marketing to the next level and enlisted PAN to: 

  1. Establish Venti as the leader in autonomous logistics to more closely associate its AV solutions with industrial hubs. 
  2. Elevate founder/CEO Heidi Wyle as a pioneer in recognizing the value of AVs in logistics and industrial settings. 
  3. Spotlight Venti as a fast-growing, innovative and revolutionary startup shaping the future of transporting goods. 

Solution

Redefine the industry standard

Venti’s market insight goes against the popular narrative. Moving goods—not people—is the best market for self-driving vehicles. And leveraging AI to convert any vehicle into an AV is a critical way forward in this fourth industrial revolution. 

PAN uncovered Venti’s strategic opportunity by evaluating its positioning against top competitors. Based on this audit and key stakeholder feedback, PAN built a strategy on six core pillars. 

PAN began the brand and messaging refresh to more closely associate Venti with “autonomous logistics” and refine their target audience to logistics and industrial hubs, defined as ports, airports, factories, warehouses and depots. This bolstered Venti’s competitive position and allowed the program to more precisely target a specific group of buyers. 

The PAN team also amplified this repositioning with media outreach that strictly targets business press, working alongside Venti’s CEO. 

Focused on the supply chain and the AV revolution, the team targeted Wyle’s platform to top-tier media outlets only, and then amplified coverage with a paid social pilot, targeting specific decision-makers at logistics and industrial hubs with non-promotional media articles. 

The team also launched an accolades pipeline to bolster Venti’s industry recognition, with a heavy emphasis on corporate growth and leadership awards. 

result

Connecting with precision for category ownership 

“The real success and perhaps even bigger opportunity,” said Forbes about the funding, “is in industrial vehicles in ports, factories and airports.” 

Venti’s Series B launch was prominently featured in Forbes, Reuters, and TechCrunch, with hundreds of additional articles. It was the most-covered month in the company’s history by all measurements, quality (reach) and quantity. 

Since then, Venti has appeared in 670 articles in six months; this is an increase 5x over any previous 12-month period in the startup’s history. Venti owns the category of “autonomous logistics” by a wide margin over its much larger competitors. 

Coverage highlights include: 

  • Forbes 100 Companies to Watch (shortlist) 
  • BostInno 50 on Fire (win) 
  • Supply & Demand Chain Executive Top Women in Supply Chain (win)
  • Additional interviews with Fortune, Forbes, and The New York Times; byline interest from HBR 
  • Top coverage: Reuters, TechCrunch, Forbes feature, Boston Globe cover story 

 

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