BombBomb Case Study: Reimagining the Category to Fend Off Well-Funded Competitors

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In 2006, BombBomb was founded as a tool to help real estate agents communicate effectively with clients using “video email.” The company became well-known within the real estate industry, generating significant revenue. However, in 2020, BombBomb reached its maximum potential for revenue within its niche and growth began to plateau. Additionally, other companies entered the “video email” market, providing more competition for BombBomb. To address these challenges, BombBomb used category design thinking to rethink its narrative and expand beyond real estate marketing.

Plateauing Growth

BombBomb was founded in 2006 as a tool to help real estate agents communicate more effectively with clients using “video email.” The company grew to a household name within the real estate space, generating significant revenue. However, in 2020, the company had saturated this niche and its growth began to plateau. It was further challenged by the fact several other (and often, better-funded) companies had entered the “video email” space around the same time. BombBomb needed a way to rethink its narrative to help it expand beyond real-estate marketing.

Category Design Reframed the Problem

I was recruited to BombBomb to help the team use category design thinking to solve this. My team and I began by speaking closely with customers to understand what pain they were trying to get rid of when using BombBomb. We discovered that customers didn’t use BombBomb because they wanted “video email,” per se. Instead, they needed a way to convey their humanity and stand out from all of the noise in their own customers’ inboxes. Video happened to be an excellent way of doing that.

This transformation in our thinking led to two new concepts in our language. First, we started describing the real problem we were solving as “digital pollution.” This was the real barrier that kept our customers from succeeding. Secondly, we shifted away from describing BombBomb as a “video email” tool and re-framed ourselves as a “human-centered communication” company. Instead of highlighting our features and the technical superiority of our product (which were only of secondary importance to our customers), we focused on how we could enable salespeople of all kinds to improve customer relationships through a human-centered approach to communication.

New Opportunities Across the Team

Because I worked across our company to both create this category POV and operationalize this new way of thinking, we saw new possibilities come to life across departments. Our marketing team authored “Human-Centered Communication: A Business Case Against Digital Pollution,” which quickly became a WSJ and Amazon best-seller. We launched an original documentary called “Dear {first_name},” which highlighted the problems digital pollution was causing for our customers. And finally, the product team went on to launch BombBomb Studios, a collection of on-demand courses that teaches customers to be more effective on camera.

Even though BombBomb has been pressured by new, better-funded entrants in the broad “video email” space, the company’s leadership position has remained strong. Without taking on any additional investment and while keeping a trim marketing budget, BombBomb has not only kept is place as one of the top-ranked players in G2’s video email category, it also continues to expand outside of real estate.

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About the Author

John Rougeux

John Rougeux is a Category Designer-at-Large at Category Design Advisors. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Get the newsletter that will help you become a better category designer.

About the Author


John Rougeux is VP Marketing Strategy at BombBomb. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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