At Harbortouch, it is our M.O. to shake up the industry on a fairly regular basis. We have been widely acknowledged for our ground-breaking initiatives since 2004, when the company forever changed the credit card processing industry with the launch of the first free credit card terminal program.
Prior to this initiative, merchants had to purchase or lease their processing equipment at a cost of hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. For obvious reasons, our free option made quite a splash, quickly becoming the industry standard while vaulting us to #19 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the country (we followed up the next year with a #6 ranking). In 2009, we took this concept to the next level, partnering with Casio Electronics to offer a free electronic cash register with integrated credit card processing capabilities. On January 1, 2011, we upped the ante again, offering an unprecedented free touch-screen point-of-sale (POS) system. This initiative was a resounding success, leading us to follow-up a year later with the addition of a new high-end model to the free POS line-up, Harbortouch POS Elite, along with various other enhancements to the program.
Each of these announcements, especially the more recent ones, were accompanied by a high-impact marketing campaign. Prior to the launch of our free cash register program, we ran a series of ads that announced "Something Big Is Coming". We complemented this with an email campaign exclaiming "Something big is coming", "It's really big" and "It's bigger than you think". Prior to the launch of our free POS program, we ran a similar "teaser" campaign that heralded "The next wave in the payments industry". Most recently, in advance of the Harbortouch POS Elite announcement, we ran ads stating simply "Get ready".
In essence, our ground-breaking product launches and our high impact marketing are two sides of the same coin. These types of ad campaigns and our tendency towards such revolutionary initiatives are both reflective of our overall company culture. Despite having over 200 employees, Harbortouch has start-up roots (founded by our CEO and CTO in our CEO's parents' basement), and as such, we have maintained the type of fast-paced and flexible operations which are typically associated with smaller companies. This has allowed us to push the envelope with innovative new programs (along with progressive marketing campaigns) which many other companies may have balked at in favor of a more conservative path. This strategy has enabled us to truly disrupt our industry and experience tremendous growth in the process.
You are not going to make a dent on the universe by following the easy route. Instead, go all in. Don't be bashful; make an impression.