Case Study

911esqe Response to Out-of-Control Connected Cars

Rapid News Cycle PR

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BACKGROUND

In July 2015, WIRED reporter Andy Greenberg was taken on a wild ride by hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek. He was driving on the highway on the edge of town at a speed of 70 mph when the exploit began to take hold – Though he hadn’t touched the dashboard, the vents in the Jeep Cherokee started blasting cold air at the maximum setting. Next, the radio switched to the local hip hop station and began blaring Skee-lo at full volume. Then the windshield wipers turned on, and wiper fluid blurred the glass. The result was an uproar of media and public concern around automobiles becoming increasingly vulnerable to hackers as they become more digitally connected with the irreversible growth of IoT.

arxan-connected-cars-hacker

Challenge

Arxan is a provider of application attack-prevention and self-protection products for Internet of Things (IoT), Mobile, Desktop, and other applications. Arxan is a B2B business, and they’re small. Tiny, even. By their size, you would absolutely never know they help four of the world’s largest car manufacturers protect the mobile applications that enable connected cars. As a little company few people had ever heard of, Lumina’s challenge lay in positioning Arxan as a critical component at the core of the connected car safety industry.

Strategy

Without any existing brand recognition, Lumina decided to leverage the assets they already had – their people. Many of Arxan’s engineers have a deep knowledge and experience with automobiles. In fact, one of their senior sales engineers drove race cars in his spare time. This kind of unique experience and passion can culminate to create remarkable spokespeople. With their expertise and compelling personalities, why not take this talent on the road? Lumina positioned Arxan as an expert source who could provide rapid responses to stories about the hackability of connected cars, and also how Arxan can prevent it.

arxan-connected-cars-highway

Results

By positioning Arxan as the trusted “good hackers” who could explain the technical mechanics and difficulty of a car hack, Lumina was able to secure broadcast, print, and online press coverage that was spectacular for a company of its size and public relations budget. On the marketing and sales front, the media recognition created tangible results. After reading the Arxan feature story in the OC Register, a major automotive manufacturer called Arxan the following day to set up a sales call, which eventually converted to a big customer win.