Atomic | atomicdirect.com
Atomic Direct is a boutique DRTV agency that offers strategic, creative, production, media and management for brand and retail clients.
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Atomic was founded in 1998 and its headquarters is located in Portland, Oregon, USA. Atomic has $10.6M in revenue and 67 employees. Atomic's top competitors are R2C Group, Marketing Enclave and Priori Partners.
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|Atomic Blog "Business as Usual" Marketing Fails Another Innovative Product: Lithium Ion Batteries for Power ToolsWe love to rate innovations as "success" or "failure". Yet most innovation suffers a far more ignominious fate: mediocrity. And that sums up the introduction of Lithium Ion (LI) Batteries for power tools. Compared with their NiCAD predecessors, LI batteries offer outstanding buyer value for cordless tools. First, there's a power advantage which can be used one of two ways: LI can be used to deliver more power in the same package. LI can be used to deliver the same power in a lighter weight package. Then there's an incredible set of charging advantages: LI batteries charge faster (a major issue for tool users). LI can be re-charged at any time without building battery memory. LI hold their charge well. After 1 year they usually retain 80% of the original charge. All this adds up to tremendous advantages for power tool users. Yet they limped slowly onto the market. Even today, tool purchasers hesitate to pay a premium for LI based tools. "Business as usual" marketing drives mediocrity. Too many marketers fail to recognize the critical importance of major communication when they introduce products. In one error, they shout "It's In-No-Va-Tive!!!!" like the bullhorn toting marketer in the photo - somehow thinking that matters. Marketers also do a poor job of identifying products that need in-depth communication - like LI batteries did. It's a world made more complicated because innovation has to fight for marketing dollars with the desperate needs of the existing products. All that leads to the most common answer - "business as [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Marketing's "Dash to Simplicity" Hurts InnovationHarvard prof Theodore Levitt once said, "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole." Clayton Christensen (with co-authors Cook and Hall) uses this quote to point out that marketers must consider the ultimate value their product delivers to choose consumer segments rather than segment by features and function. He also notes that using feature and function to segment can lead to an oblivion of tiny, pigeon-holed markets. Christensen is absolutely right - marketers must focus on the value ultimately delivered to the customer. And yet, don't use this quote as a good example of identified value. We should consider it, instead, a superb example of an error I find in too much marketing: the dash to over-simplification. Levitt is wrong to suggest the ultimate value of a drill is a hole. What's missing is the process Christensen describes often in his books - a process that puts in the hard work digging to understand true consumer value. I know this because I've sold a lot of products that make holes in my career. From 2001 to 2008, my agency was the agency of record for the Drill Doctor drill bit sharpener where we helped sell 3 million units of a $100 product that sharpened a $0.25 drill bit. That's a lot of holes. In 2006 we took on the Kreg Jig, a product used...to drill holes. This product simplified building with wood by making holes for pocket/screw joinery and was sold at big box retailers (Lowe's and Home Depot) as [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Innovative Products Need Specialized Marketing: The Kobalt Double DriveProduct innovation is the lifeblood of consumer goods companies. And I've spent my career using communication to maximize business and brand impact from innovative products. The more my agency drives powerful impact from innovative products, the more frustrated I get watching companies with astounding innovation waste their opportunity with "business as usual" marketing. Innovation can't be handed over to the same resources used for everyday marketing of products already on the shelves. The skills needed to nurture a well-known, successful product and brand are very different from the skills needed to move a branded innovation from zero to hero. So let's look at a brand innovation success: Lowe's Kobalt Double Drive Screwdriver. Innovative Screwdriver? Really? We have to get past the idea that innovation must "change the world". Those kinds of innovations are exciting to theorize about. But there's also incredible short-term and long-term payout from innovations that are incremental - making an existing product better. So, yes. Screwdrivers. In 2011, our clients at Lowe's were pretty excited when they approached us with the Double Drive Screwdriver. We were a bit skeptical...until we had one in our hands. The core of the innovation is revolutionary gearing that leaps beyond ratcheting - as you rotate the handle back and forth, you keep on driving the screw. It's not just powerful to use but also fun. And it offers big consumer value - tremendous advantages whether assembling RTA furniture or working on the electrical box. Business as Usual Marketing Would have Led to Weak ROI. Sitting on the shelf shoppers would never [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Amazon's $13.7B Endorsement of Brick and MortarFor years Amazon's guerrilla forces have been leading a small cadre of pureplay electronic retailers in a battle to overthrow (or steal profit from) the Commerce Establishment. They've been motivated by battle cries like "Give me electronic liberty or give me death". Or "in your margin is my opportunity!" This scrappy group has, in the true form of guerrilla fighters, used high profile actions to dominate the attention of their well established brick and mortar opponents. As a result, the establishment has wasted time, energy, and opportunity being "anti-Amazon" rather than being "pro consumer" or "pro growth". Press coverage has made it clear the field of battle is littered with casualties. And, in true war correspondent style, the number and type of casualties are often overstated for the sake of a good story. There is real damage on both sides. There are many very large casualties on the e-commerce side (a fact often ignored). And this year we've seen very serious casualties among traditional retailers - but not all from this fight. A lot of brick and mortar damage is self-inflicted or the result of warehouse and discount stores. Then, we reach June 16, 2017 - a day that will go down in the annals of, well, something. That's the day that...Amazon strode across the field of battle to join the other side. Wait... What? Yup. Amazon just joined the establishment...well, sort of. With all the retail casualties strewn across the field of battle, the establishment isn't what it used to be. And with the [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Amazon’s $13.7B Endorsement of Brick and MortarFor years Amazon’s guerrilla forces have been leading a small cadre of pureplay electronic retailers in a battle to overthrow (or steal profit from) the Commerce Establishment. They’ve been motivated by battle cries like “Give me electronic liberty or give me death”. Or “in your margin is my opportunity!” This scrappy group has, in the true form of guerrilla fighters, used high profile actions to dominate the attention of their well established brick and mortar opponents. As a result, the establishment has wasted time, energy, and opportunity being “anti-Amazon” rather than being “pro consumer” or “pro growth”. Press coverage has made it clear the field of battle is littered with casualties. And, in true war correspondent style, the number and type of casualties are often overstated for the sake of a good story. There is real damage on both sides. There are many very large casualties on the e-commerce side (a fact often ignored). And this year we’ve seen very serious casualties among traditional retailers – but not all from this fight. A lot of brick and mortar damage is self-inflicted or the result of warehouse and discount stores. Then, we reach June 16, 2017 – the day that…Amazon strode across the field of battle to join the other side. Wait… What? Yup. Amazon just joined the establishment…well, sort of. With all the retail casualties strewn across the field of battle, the establishment isn’t what it used to be. And with the confusion that Amazon has created, too many retailers are running around strategically lost […]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Reading the Fossil Record: Why Data and Machine Learning Tell Us Less Than We ThinkA few years back I read a post on RetailWire that pondered whether retailers will need traditional research once mobile tracking is "in place". The question reveals a very common flaw in how people think about research. And that flaw continues today amid all the AI and machine-learning hype. Developing conclusions from mobile data is the equivalent of scientists reading the fossil record. When I was a kid, scientists had been observing the fossil record for hundreds of years. So, they really thought they knew what the truth was. Dinosaurs were reptiles, they had reptilian skin, they were cold-blooded, lived isolated lives, and modern day lizards are their direct descendants. Fast forward to 2017. My kids learned that some (many) dinosaurs had feathers, that some (many) were herd animals, they were pretty fast moving, that some lived in family based units, some hunted together, and that birds essentially evolved from dinosaurs. The original scientists weren't bad at their jobs. In fact, they were brilliant. The problem was all they had was observed data. They created solid, grand theories from the observed facts they knew. With Observed Data You Never Know What You Don't Know. Paleontologists erred in their theories because there were thousands and millions of fossil truths they couldn't see - they hadn't yet been discovered or analyzed. They also projected modern day perceptions onto million year old facts to try to have them make sense - a classic error in research. Ethnographic observers are in a similar bind as are direct marketers who [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog Competing with Amazon: Innovative Products are Key to Brick & Mortar FutureLately I've seen writing that suggests retailers can't win long term competitive advantage with products. To be fair, retail IS incredibly complicated and success depends on smart strategies throughout the eco-system. Steve Dennis, for example, recently discussed the importance of "the story" that leads consumers to your store. And although I believe Steve is too dismissive of products in this instance, I agree with the importance of story. But... Wait...What? No competitive advantage in products? Retail ONLY exists to sell product! It's true that retailers gain no strategic advantage when buyers merely load up stores with products (any products) or search for "best products" without a plan for how they contribute to strategic success. The buyer's job must be more than filling in a spreadsheet of products. Still, since selling product is the only reason stores exist, a product based strategy must be a key focus in order to survive and thrive. But how? One Strategic Option: Leveraging Innovative Products One way to build strategic power with products is with a program around innovation. In this strategy, retailers seek out innovative products, put them prominently on the shelves...and advertise them at significant levels of spending - usually with TV. In 25 years of working with programs like this, a reliable and consistent innovation program will: Bring very large numbers of new shoppers into stores. Bring very large numbers of existing shoppers back more often. Make shopping more interesting and entertaining. All that adds up to higher foot traffic, more spending per visit, higher product margins, improved brand preference, and better shopper retention. In fact, using Steve Dennis' term, done right these products become a core part of your story. [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog 8 Reasons Product Advertising and Video Is Right for Your BrandIn the ad business, too many agencies lack the skills and experience to look at a client's business problem and know how to develop a strategy that implements the right mix of advertising solutions as it specifically relates to your problem. Instead, they fall back onto brand advertising or promotional work (in-store signage or ads focused on discounted prices). And that means they ignore a powerful type of advertising that is critical to innovative products: Product Advertising. I have over 20 years of experience driving brand growth with product-based advertising. It works powerfully for both your product and your brand. Like any other type of advertising, it shouldn't be used in every situation, but there are times when it's the ONLY option that can move your business forward. Unfortunately, many agencies don't fully understand its power, so it's often taken it off the table. In fact, when you have a product that has compelling consumer benefits, product advertising is the right direction for building brand value while selling product in the meantime. How? Here are eight important reasons product ads are powerful for your brand: Product Stories are Recalled at Critical Sales Points. Byron Sharp reminds us that a strong brand has strong "physical and mental availability". Mental availability means consumers think of your product at the right times - like needing a pick-me-up snack and thinking "Snickers". When you have a unique, compelling product, and when consumers know why your product relates to them, they will recall it when they need it or give you [...]Atomic Blog|
|Atomic Blog PRODUCTS NEED MORE THAN A BRAND: Why compelling product video mattersHow do you use video to best sell an innovative product -moving it off the retail or online shelf and into your consumer's hands? It's a tricky question - the options are more complicated than it might seem. A traditional agency may be great at brand work or price promotions, but most lack the skill to create effective advertising based around products - especially new, innovative products. And while standard video production companies make nice looking video, "nice looking" doesn't drive results for products. Effective product video requires a solid communication strategy combined with visuals that make your product so compelling that consumers take action. Let Your Product Drive. Advertising and video rarely lead with product. But they should. When you put product first, great things happen. Despite what some might think, product-focused advertising doesn't mean your brand takes the back seat. Rather, what you say about the product establishes a powerful connection with your brand, and becomes the tangible reality that drives high levels of product sales. So, they go to together - product and brand. Think about it. When people view a product as innovative, they view the brand or company behind the product as innovative too. Apple is one easy example. But also think about OXO, Dyson, and Tesla. All of these brands became powerful by leading with their product innovation. And they keep the brand powerful by building out entire product lines supported by brand as their backbone. Drive With the Product Messages that Matter. Successful product advertising isn't a list [...]Atomic Blog|
|Press Release: Atomic : Atomic Direct Receives Sixth Telly Award for Kobalt Tools AdvertisingThis marks the fifth year, and sixth Telly awarded to Atomic for its seasonal Kobalt Tools spots.(PRWeb March 16, 2017)Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/03/prweb14149503.htmPRWeb|
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Atomic Direct is a boutique DRTV agency that offers strategic, creative, production, media and management for brand and retail clients. Atomic was founded in 1998. Atomic's headquarters is located in Portland, Oregon, USA 97202. Atomic has an estimated 67 employees and an estimated annual revenue of 10.6M.
Visit the Atomic website to learn more.