Volusion is proud to work closely with a wide range of partners to enhance our shopping cart software and provide additional resources to our customer base. One partnership that has truly stood out is Michigan-based Brand Labs.
Since 2006, Brand Labs has been wowing clients using Volusion’s ecommerce platform exclusively. Brand Labs’ founders, Kevin Harman and Dane Downer, have built a booming business by providing store design, custom development and ecommerce marketing for hundreds of Volusion clients.
We recently had the chance to sit down with Kevin to pick his brain on what has helped Brand Labs become such a valued and successful partner. Turns out, it all amounts to a lot of hard work and a positive attitude.
Check out this Q&A for more insights:
Tell me a little about your business. How did you get started in offering ecommerce?
Brand Labs was actually born out of our own cart-building efforts. We were operating several online stores using a cart that we’d built in-house, but as all of the businesses grew, we found ourselves spending as much time (or more) working on the cart as we were spending running the businesses themselves. As soon as we realized that, we started to research pre-built eCommerce platforms. We quickly decided that Volusion served our needs better than any other solution. Armed with that knowledge, we moved all of our stores to the platform.
In the process of building our Volusion stores, we learned so much that in the end we found that we’d inadvertently built a team of experts in the platform and we began to offer our expertise to the public.
What benefits have you experienced as a Volusion partner?
The most critical component for us is enhanced communication. The partner relationship has allowed us to work directly with insiders at Volusion. That sort of access is critical to what we do.
How has this enhanced communication impacted your business?
Our more direct access is helpful on all fronts, from simple customer service to deeper insight into the more obscure or complex elements of the platform. However, since we specialize in customized software solutions for Volusion, the direct line to the team in Austin is priceless. We’re doing things with Volusion that no one’s ever done before and when you’re constantly breaking new ground, it’s important to have that kind of backup.
Brand Labs’ Cofounders: Kevin Harman (left) and Dane Downer (right)
How much growth has Brand Labs seen since offering Volusion to clients?
While we have nothing to measure it against, since Brand Labs launched with Volusion as its specialty, we can certainly say we’ve grown dramatically over the years and our choice to specialize in Volusion has been critical to that growth. Despite the fact that the world is facing the worst economic downturn in nearly a century, we’ve grown continuously since our founding. In 2006 we had a four man staff. Today, we’ve got three dozen staffers with specialties including custom development, online marketing and design… and we continue to grow!
What makes you such a successful Volusion Partner?
We’ve been working with Volusion for years to help stretch the boundaries of the platform. That partnership has allowed us to get access to larger clients and our ability to deliver results has allowed Volusion to enroll or retain clients whose specific needs might otherwise have forced them to switch to another platform.
For other partners out there, what methods do you find most effective in creating brand awareness as a Volusion Partner?
For us, it all boils down to word of mouth and good, old-fashioned legwork. We have a stable of hundreds of clients who have usually come to us in search of custom solutions or site management. Our entire staff is actively engaged in customer service, so at the end of a project, clients tend to walk away with a genuine appreciation of what we’ve achieved on their behalf – or they never walk away at all. Our ongoing relationship with a large portion of our client list brings a near-constant flow of referrals. Referrals are easily our biggest source of new leads, but of course we also use social media, paid search and SEO to help spread the word.
Anything else you’d like to share?
We’re really pleased by the way our relationship with Volusion has developed over the years and we’re extremely excited to see what the future holds as we both continue to build and grow.
We’ve been working exclusively with Volusion for 5 years because it simply fits a wide range of needs for new merchants and enterprise-level companies alike. We’ve got so many Volusion success stories we could fill a book!
We’d like to send a big thanks to Kevin and the entire Brand Labs team for sharing their story with us. We’re looking forward to continuing our close relationship in order to provide innovative solutions for our growing client base!
*Photos courtesy of Dave Lewinsky