The Airstoc Journey – 04 What made us different

When creating an idea, being able to differentiate yourselves from others is vital. You don’t want to be the “Uber” for so and so or the “Tinder” for this etc. You want to be unique, and position yourself in your own league. Obviously, that position will continue to become squeezed over time, but for us, entering the drone industry was unique in itself, but we had to make sure we thought about what we would be known as in the years to come.

Everyone told us at the start we should look at ground equipment, provide all production capabilities, but we decided against it. We want to focus on aerials but predominantly drones. We say aerials because in case other equipment is introduced that are not drones but also do aerials, we wanted to be able to move into this swiftly, but deep down, we knew drones are here to stay and that would be our focus.

Not only was our focus on aerials (drones) but we wanted to work with drone professionals. We knew rules and regulations on a global scale was hot topic, which is still hot topic 3 years on, so focussing on professionals enabled us to build up a solid network of drone pilots, who we could promote to customers and provide assurances that all legalities were upheld.

Obviously over time, we have opened out the platform to a wider audience of drone pilots as rules and regulations have changed and become formalised in countries around the world, but it was important to have this identity from the start.

By doing this, we had a lot of big companies wanting to partner with us because we could take care of all their aerial requirements. We used to get calls on a daily basis and it is easy to jump straight in with the first company who approaches you, but we were very strict on who we worked with, making sure we set targets to judge the partnership on. If not, then what is the point in the partnership, there has to be more to it than just PR.

We knew when got into this, it would take a lot of time and money to educate the audience on drones, ultimately helping out our network of pilots to get more work. We were not entering an already established market, we were building the market as we grew and that is an odd position to be in. However, by being in at the very start, we were able to work with various drone associations and provide a lot of drone knowledge, not only on drone laws, but on insurance, training schools, equipment, tips on dealing with customers, etc. We wanted to, and still do, encourage drone pilots whether a hobbyist or professional to come to us for anything drone related.

By differentiating ourselves from any competition, providing valuable knowledge and having a cool product, we were able to get people talking about us, which is such a great thing to see when you are struggling away to get the business off the ground. Not only does it give you a lift and confirm you are doing something right, it ultimately helps spread the word, something which could cost other companies thousands.

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