To meet the growing needs of clients for secure destruction of electronic data, a Boston-area shredding company Datasafe, Inc. has rebranded with its killer domain name Destruction.com. To get a deeper insight into the story behind the brand, we talk with Rick Carey, the Founder of Destruction, about the reasons for a name change, how the previous name was limiting for the business and what’s on the horizon for Destruction.
Rick, please tell us how you founded Datasafe Information Security and what made you jump and create the business?
Before my work in corporate America, I had worked in the federal government. Armed with a degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University, I worked at the Drug Enforcement Administration and then the Internal Revenue Service. At the IRS, I was in the Internal Affairs Department. Talk about a job where no one likes you!! I then moved on to Fidelity Investments in Boston, where I was a Special Projects Administration in their corporate security department.
In those days, particularly in the investment industry, a great deal of sensitive information was still stored in paper format: information including Social Security numbers, income, address, and many other items that definitely do not belong in the hands of the wrong people. The need to treat the chain of custody of this sensitive information carefully and securely was apparent. Too often we heard of sensitive information being discarded, tossed in a dumpster, for example, where theoretically anyone could rifle through it and obtain a wealth of information they shouldn’t have. I remember a story in a Connecticut newspaper where reporters went “undercover” and rifled through a dumpster, identifying an individual by name and saying “We know how much you earn, where you work, what your Social Security number is, and how much you pay each month for your car loan. We know this because we went through a dumpster outside of your bank.” That one news story certainly encapsulated the need for security measures in the disposing of financial (and healthcare) information. I saw a need for a greater security based approach to document destruction. And that knowledge, plus the desire to run my own business, is what led me to found Datasafe Information Security.
You decided to rebrand your business with a descriptive domain name Destruction.com in September this year. It’s a very memorable name, what is the moment you realized it was the right choice?
I thought it was extremely good fortune from the moment that I searched for a domain name many years ago and this one was available (and, in fact, didn’t pay much more for it at that time than you’d pay for several large pizzas). That was before domain name purchasing really took off. I started the company with the Datasafe name to emphasize the security aspect of what we did, particularly with my having come out of the world of security. However, our industry has evolved, and while security is still top of mind (all you need to do is see one news story after the next about hacking and data breaches), there has been a lot of consolidation in our industry, with a lot of the “big guys” buying up the smaller independent firms. This has resulted in some price wars, and while everyone worries about security, most of the time what they want is a good price and to see that the material is destroyed. I began to think that it was time to shift our marketing emphasis more toward a very quick description of who we are and what we do. “Destruction.com” captures it.
You founded the company in 1990 and the primary focus was on shredding documents. Luckily, your business has grown and now it offers a wide range of destruction services. How the previous name limited the business, what problems did you encounter along the way?
One of the concerns I had is that the name “Datasafe” seemed to connote financial data and not necessarily connect across to the many other industries which also benefit from secure document shredding and destruction. Our business grew and prospered under the Datasafe name, but I think with Destruction.com it will do even better. The problem we have encountered along the way in our industry is more about the consolidation. We are an independently owned company. My son Eric and I are partners in this venture. We are the largest (and nearly the last) independently owned shredding firm in Massachusetts. The so called “big guys” will come in and offer pricing at which they can’t make a profit, simply to gain marketshare. Then of course the prices begin to rise, as do the hidden surcharges. We find a lot of deceptive pricing and have to work hard to not be painted with the same broad brush. We do not tack surcharges on our invoices if the price of fuel, or paper recycling, varies. We try to be very straightforward and encourage others to follow suit. We recently took a “no surcharge” pledge when we learned that one of the biggest companies in our industry has been tacking these on and passing the costs along to the customers.
Have you seen a rise in web traffic, conversions and sales that can be attributed to rebranding?
It’s early in the process. We literally just announced the change this month, and it doesn’t kick in officially and fully until 2020. However, we have gotten a lot of inquiries about the name change (including yours, for which we thank you!).
How the rebranding affected your team, are they happy about it? Is it making their work easier? What’s the feedback you get?
Customers and our team members all like the direct feel of the new name. We expect this change to garner a lot of attention as this year winds down and a new one begins. We are revamping our website to reflect the look and feel of the new name, and we have also launched a PR campaign to tell the media about our change and our plans.
What would you say is the most important thing for your brand right now?
Our brand reflects exactly what we do, and does it in a single word. Today’s society has turned most of us into people with shorter attention spans because we are bombarded with so much information. Most people like to know right away, “Who are you and what do you do.” This re-brand accomplishes that. In going through the process of this rebrand, it began to resonate with Eric and me that we had an incredibly powerful domain name that has greater brand presence than our company name, so it made sense for us to take the leap and make it official.
How important is the presence of your brand online? What plays the most important role in people finding you on the Web?
Online is important to us. We are investing in the redevelopment of our website and the appropriate content to make our brand more discoverable on Google and other searches. Over the years, we have been featured and interviewed in a number of media outlets, and that has also helped push our name higher on the search engines. It is important for us to maximize our online presence.
Do you have any advice for other startups who may be considering upgrading to a premium domain name?
Go for it! If there’s a name available that suits your business, buy it. It’s an inexpensive investment.
Your company recently celebrated an impressive milestone - 550 million shredded documents, with no identity theft or breaches. How proud are you of this achievement?
Very proud. We work very, very hard to protect all data. We hope to get to a billion documents with the same record of success, although that will be a few years in the future, I imagine.
What’s on the horizon for Destruction? What gets you excited about the future?
I’ve been at the helm of this business for nearly 30 years, and I’m thrilled that my son Eric has stepped up and wants to help shape and guide the future of Destruction.com over the next few decades. We have been doing an increasing amount of work for municipalities and we look forward to expanding that business, as well as strengthening our market share in the verticals we currently serve. We are not looking to get acquired and plan to remain an independent firm, true to its mission and one that provides real value to our customers.
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help or just want to chat to someone about the process, book a free consultation using the form below. We are always happy to hear from you.