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Liquid Robotics – Building a New Vision for the Digital Ocean

New brand strategy helps ocean robotics pioneer reinforce category leadership.


Liquid Robotics, a Boeing company


Brand Strategy, Content Marketing, Product Positioning, Thought Leadership

Liquid Robotics needed a strategy to defend its first-mover advantage and decisively position itself as the category leader.

At a glance

Founded in 2007, Liquid Robotics pioneered a new category of wave-powered, unmanned surface vehicles capable of carrying a variety of sensors and communications technologies to autonomously collect and transmit ocean data. After spending nearly a decade developing and commercializing its Wave Glider platform, Liquid Robotics found itself facing a sea of competition. The company engaged Brighttail to position itself as the category leader, eventually leading to the company’s acquisition by The Boeing Company.

The challenge

Life isn’t easy for pioneers. You spend years developing a new innovation, getting funding and creating a new market. Then, at the first sign of success, you look around and find yourself surrounded by a sea of competition.

This is the challenge that Liquid Robotics faced. The company had pioneered the category of unmanned surface vehicles (USV) with its innovative Wave Glider® platform. Yet, as the market took shape, multiple competitors stepped forward to claim market leadership.

Liquid Robotics needed a strategy to defend its first-mover advantage and decisively position itself as the category leader.

Our strategy
and work

After diving deep into industry research, Brighttail discovered that USVs were part of a much bigger change in how mankind interacts with the ocean. From seafloor to space, an entire ecosystem of sensors, communications platforms and robotic systems are being deployed to capture information in places where it’s too difficult or costly to send people. 

We developed a unique thought leadership platform to shift the organization’s positioning away from what it makes (USVs) to what it enables: a digital ocean. As a surface vehicle, the Wave Glider platform is uniquely positioned to connect subsea sensors and systems with assets in the air and space. With this in mind, Brighttail created a strategic narrative that challenged conventional assumptions about ocean data collection and provided a foundation for more profitable conversations: “Let’s Build the Digital Ocean Together.” 

To tell this story, we created a wide range of content assets, including a microsite, brand video, ebook, case studies and more. Additional tactics included conference presentations, an executive roundtable, and extensive media coverage.

In a market where companies tend to use the same messaging, Brighttail quickly dove in, understood what we do, the types of customers we have, and helped us develop a unique thought leadership platform. We introduced our vision to the Market in the Fall of 2016 and have already received great feedback and the industry is engaged and helping push the message forward[…]Brighttail is strategic, easy to work with, and a group I will repeatedly recommend.

Becky Tanner

VP Marketing

Brand Strategy

Matthew Lewsadder

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