SpareFoot, an online marketplace of self-storage facilities, is sharing its findings from a unique project in which the company’s 18 employees got to know the self-storage product in a fun and personal way. Called “Adventures in Storage,” the mixed-media reality series documents the employees’ experiences as they rent and move in and out of self-storage units.
CEO Chuck Gordon coordinated the nine-week project in which pairs of employees moved a growing pile of possessions from one storage facility to the next around Austin, Texas, adding creative items for the next team to discover. Each duo was responsible for finding storage near a teammate’s home, with or without the help of the company’s facility-finder website.
Every Sparefoot employee, from developers to salespeople to marketers, booked units, signed leases, obtained locks and optionally rented trucks to cart stuff around town. Moving forward, every new staffer to join the team will pick up where things left off and complete the same tasks.
The idea sprang from Gordon’s realization that most of his employees had never personally used self-storage. He wanted them to understand the challenges storage customers face. He hopes the project inspires improvements to SpareFoot’s website, which will make finding and reserving storage units easier for users.
“To speak intelligently about anything related to the consumer experience, everyone at SpareFoot should have personal experience renting a storage unit,” Gordon said. “Everyone will learn what it really means to rent storage, and see how much of a pain it is. This should help guide everything we do to make the process easier for consumers.”
“Adventures in Storage” was documented through filmed interviews with employees and footage taken at storage facilities. Weekly blog posts unfold the story in a narrative style similar to that of a typical TV-reality series. A short video accompanies each post. One of nine blog “episodes” is released every Monday at 6 p.m. CST. The first blog posted to the Sparefoot website on June 20.
The company is also running a social-media contest. The first three people to correctly guess one item in the final storage unit featured in the project series will win $100. Interested watchers and readers can follow @SpareFoot on Twitter with hash tag #adventuresinstorage.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot.com lists more than 5,000 self-storage facilities in its nationwide directory, which allows consumers to compare sites before renting. Through multiple websites including SpareFoot.com, SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and many others, SpareFoot helps self-storage operators find new tenants through a pay-for-performance model. The company is backed by Silverton Partners, FLOODGATE and Capital Factory.