Redline Steel is a Veteran-owned and operated business that manufactures customized steel home decor with all products and material sourced in the United States. Founded in 2016 by entrepreneur and social media icon, Colin Wayne, the company has scaled into the largest customized steel manufacturer within the United States in just under 4 years. But they didn’t become the biggest brand in their industry overnight.
Many of the world’s most successful businesses have achieved their reputation by disrupting their associated industries — and new innovators seem to pop up every day.
Yet what does “disrupting” the industry really mean, and how can you say if the company is on the way to achieving that goal? Comprehending a few essential elements of the disruptive process can help you understand the process better. “Disruptive Innovation” is a process in which a product/service takes root originally in simple applications at the foundation of a market and then relentlessly moves upmarket, eventually displacing established competitors. One of the biggest indicators in creating a disruptive business is by focusing on a target audience that is neglected by the current market.
With that in mind, most modern innovation stems from the use of technology and how it has paved the way for revolutionary changes within the standard business model. Nowadays, your smaller, ‘mom and pop’ stores are struggling to keep pace in the digital age. Online shopping has never been more popular and sought after than it is now. In order to succeed with the growing number of online purchases, many physical stores must begin pivoting their business model accordingly to accommodate the change in consumer behavior.
A few years ago, Colin found a market opportunity that under-utilized digital media which helped Redline build a “direct to consumer business model” with their sales primarily occurring on their website, and heavy social media presence. In what started in a measly 5,000 sq. Ft warehouse, the company has exponentially grown into a 100,000 sq. Ft. Facility. What was once 2 employees, now has over 80 full-time employees and counting. What was once the first order, now has over 1,000,000 total orders and counting.
So how’d they done it?
Redline sells 100% direct to consumer through an e-commerce platform using 3 major marketing strategies that have helped build their brand and gain consumer trust over time. Factors such as Active Marketing, Reactive Marketing, and Proactive Marketing each play a vital role in the overall growth and success of the company. Recognizing the “un-tapped” market opportunity allowed Colin and his company to broaden its customer base via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Through building custom and lookalike audiences, the online manufacturer saw an unprecedented spike in sales after focusing on targeted digital ads that appealed to their core demographic.
Social media platforms gave Redline Steel the ability to scale rapidly and reach millions of people that had never heard of the company.
With the help of a Digital Marketing agency, Redline was able to leverage the momentum to capture organic traffic and grow their email list exponentially, helping improve site conversion while lowering their ad spend naturally. In addition to the success of their marketing, Redline thrives on customer engagement within their platforms online. Colin is known to frequently film live-streams and other contest giveaways on the official Redline Steel Facebook page to drive brand awareness and promote their business with the seemingly active customer base. Bolstered by strategic targeting, the company recently surpassed over 1 billion native Facebook impressions and sees no end in sight.
Led by the owner, CEO, and founder of the company, who often-times will be the first to enter the building and the last to leave in the evening, Redline continues to innovate the home decor industry and provide consumers with a product they can feel proud to display at home. Using high-quality, thick 16 gauge steel for rigidity and a procurement process that involves powder coating every steel product, the company offers a wide range of decor that lasts for an entire lifetime.
Despite their past success, the company understands that future success depends entirely on being able to learn from prior mistakes and continue pivoting their business model to accommodate the rapid changes in consumer trends. In early 2020, Redline Steel branched away from strictly manufacturing steel decor by investing in smaller subsidies within the company. Apart from their large variety of Steel decor, they offer an extensive collection of Canvas Art, Leather Bracelets/Keychains, and even Apparel.
While most companies offering a wide array of products tend to rely on outsourcing production through 3rd party companies and/or various drop-shipping suppliers, Redline Steel continues to fabricate and manufacture all products in-house at their massive warehouse facility in Tanner, AL (Huntsville, AL). By prioritizing and promoting 100% American-made material and production, the company quickly garnered the attention of President Trump and his Administration. Nominated as the representative of the State of Alabama in 2019, Redline Steel was invited to the White House last year as part of the “Made in America” showcase event, which included 50 American-Made businesses (1 from each State) that were celebrated for their focus on ensuring production remains within the United States. This event helped the company showcase their products on a national scale, which led to an abundance of media interviews and additional attention. President Donald Trump actually loved one of the Flags they brought to the White House so much that he purchased the product with his own money in order to keep the item for when he left office.
In the early stages of COVID-19, Redline Steel started an initiative to give back to those in the Medical Field by gifting these workers with a free item. Overall, the company donated over $2 Million in product across the country to Medical personnel, First Responders, and a number of other essential professions. Despite the pandemic, the online manufacturer thrived as a business helping to avoid lay-offs while also allowing Colin and his staff to hire dozens of new employees. Additionally, all employees were given either a bonus or a Rent/Mortage stipend to cover all bill payments for the month of April.
Behind the vision, culture, and expectations set forth by Colin, Redline Steel is poised for another multi-million dollar year in revenue while continuing to expand operations and maintain their strong grip in the home decor space. Within the next 5 years, Colin hopes to grow this once-small business into a Billion Dollar corporation, and from the looks of it, they are well on their way.