Growing the Speck Brand

Powerplay Rep Group

Speck Products has relied on Powerplay Rep Group since 2008. The Speck brand was originally focused on MacBook cases sold to Apple, and Powerplay immediately secured placement for these products at Best Buy as well. Since then, Powerplay has combined successful execution, sell-through, and ongoing program management to help Speck expand into new categories and new retailers—with a particular focus on mobile and tablet accessories.

Today, Speck is a global brand with top market share across multiple product categories. Speck Products was acquired by Samsonite for $85M in 2014, and Powerplay continues to be a key part of Speck’s sales team by helping drive and grow the brand.

Key Issues Faced

  • Speck’s expansion from making laptop cases to selling mobile and tablet accessories initially drove rapid growth—but by 2016 sales of new iPhones had begun to flatten out.
  • In 2018, Target launched their own brand, Heyday, focused on stylish technology—the same segment as Speck.
  • Best Buy had become a vitally important sales channel for Speck, and keeping pace with the retailer’s shifting strategies for fashion, form factor, color, and other trends required greater innovation and nimbleness.

Implementation

  • Taking a closer look at the stagnant iPhone market, Powerplay identified opportunities for brand consolidation.
  • To ensure rapid response to changing retailer preferences, we focused on improved communication and faster meeting cadence—working closely with retail buyers and the Speck product teams to align strategies for both new and current categories.
  • Powerplay secured incremental shelf space both inline and on biddable endcaps, resulting in exclusive placement at Target for Speck’s entire prepaid accessory business.
  • At Best Buy, Powerplay bid on incremental space and secondary placements to ensure Speck was visible in all focus areas.

Results

  • At Target, Powerplay helped Speck achieve #1 market share in the iPad case category, and #2 share in the highly competitive phone case segment
  • Powerplay secured incremental endcaps, including a successful brand collaboration with Scosche.
  • Even with flattening device sales and Target introducing its competing Heyday line, Powerplay and Speck increased peg count by 27% in 2019
  • By December 2019, Speck had Target’s best-selling phone case.
  • At Best Buy, Powerplay launched new product categories for Speck including watch accessories, virtual reality, sleeves, tablet accessories, and AirPod cases.
  • In 2018, Powerplay secured a focal spot for Speck at the front of Best Buy stores, capturing immediate attention from walk-in customers.
  • Despite vendor consolidation, Speck grew to be the top unit driver for Best Buy in 2018-2019.

Powerplay Direct

After working with Powerplay Rep Group to successfully expand the brand in retail, Speck Products engaged Powerplay Direct in 2017. Facing declining sales on Amazon and excess inventory challenges, Speck asked Powerplay Direct to help create and execute a winning direct-to-consumer strategy.

Key Issues Faced

  • Before engaging Powerplay Direct, Speck faced declining sales with Amazon Vendor Central—underscoring the need for a change in strategy.
  • High return and exchange rates within the Amazon channel created additional challenges for the Speck brand.
  • Speck was also trying to manage inconsistent performance across its excess inventory outlets.

Implementation

  • Powerplay Direct led strategic efforts to place incremental purchase orders augmenting Speck’s launch sales on Amazon. We collaborated with Speck to develop paid per-click programs that generated maximum sales growth while ensuring efficient ACoS.
  • Using market and R&E analysis, we identified an opportunity to increase conversions and decrease returns/exchanges by creating product compatibility guides to help buyers choose the correct Speck products for their devices.
  • Powerplay Direct helped generate over $200K in COGS for excess inventory across more than 75 ASINs on Amazon, and continues to be a key outlet for Speck’s excess inventory.

Results

  • Powerplay Direct led a comprehensive Amazon strategy for Speck that, starting from zero units sold in 2017, generated $330K in 2018 and nearly $1M in 2019.
  • Meanwhile, Powerplay’s compatibility guides reduced Speck’s R&E rate by more than 2% and increased conversion by 1% on average.