Beyond Boxes: Helping PODS Move Up in the Moving and Storage Industry

When PODS was founded in 1998 as a disruptor in the moving and storage industry, it was a hit with customers who appreciated its flexible DIY to full-service solutions and the empathetic experts who made the journey less stressful. But over the years, competitors had begun moving into PODS’ space.

The company approached Material to help rejuvenate its reputation as a differentiated leader. In 2020, when the pandemic resulted in people making both temporary and permanent transitions, our goal was to launch data-driven brand and direct-response marketing and advertising campaigns that would deliver occasion-specific messaging to target profiles. And in the next two years, as people settled back into routines and moved less frequently, our goal was to overhaul objectives, channels and KPIs to ensure PODs retained its position as a market leader.

  • Evaluated current state of messaging, audience targeting, flighting, partners and channel spend through media mix modeling

  • Leveraged PODS’ first-party customer research to determine high-potential segments for $30M+ media spend in 2020

  • Built a messaging framework and content for PODS’ most valuable audiences and moving occasions

  • Established new KPIs and used brand trackers to measure impact on market share, brand awareness and favorability

  • Launched brand refresh campaign with more than 600 touch points across the funnel

  • Relaunched PODS with a nationwide advertising campaign including broadcast, digital, search, CRM and social

  • Focused on proven drivers of awareness to boost the new brand with broad reaching channels like TV and OTT/CTV

  • Used audio and rich media channels to drive lift in site visitation and educate users on various product offerings and services

  • Added new sponsorships and partners to reach net new audiences, including alignment with “This Old House”

Moving companies usually compete on functional messages about price and timing, but since moving is often a highly emotional decision, our research revealed that it can be more impactful to address customers’ emotional needs. We created thousands of pieces of content that worked across multiple audiences, occasions, channels and campaigns, positioning PODS as an empathetic partner throughout the moving process.

The work resulted in dramatically stronger brand awareness and sales YOY: a 1,220% lift in unaided awareness, 118% increase in quotes and 6% ROI. The campaign reached the #1 best performing spot in PODS marketing history. The 2022 strategy flipped PODS’ investment funnel, expanded its reach to new audiences and successfully hit contribution targets each month, with a 5x ROI.

We’re happy to report that PODS isn’t giving up any territory to rivals: “Newsweek” included the company on its “Best Customer Service 2024” list.

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