Vision Markets supports Eigen Innovations in business model shift
“Vision Markets did a fantastic job understanding our objectives and helping us strategize how to achieve them”Erin Barrett, CEO of Eigen Innovations
Machine learning is the next big thing in industrial machine vision. Eigen Innovations, a Canada-based company, has been developing machine vision solutions for manufacturers for a decade. Over the years, Eigen created advanced software tools to make machine learning models easier to train, deploy and scale across multiple machines and factories. The company also developed powerful analytics software that aggregates machine vision data with other process-related data to identify the root cause of defects and anticipate them rather than just detecting them.
Having developed all these tools for their own projects as a system integrator, Eigen Innovations realized the value they could have for manufacturers and vision systems designers seeking to scale their vision systems and gain process intelligence across factories.
The company decided to expand its business model beyond vision system development and to market its proprietary software.
“Becoming a software company was a huge transformation for the whole organization,” explains Erin Barrett, CEO of Eigen Innovations. “We needed to make our tools easily accessible and usable for others, understand their needs and explain their benefits to this new type of customers. At the same time, we wanted to keep up with our vision solution business that roots our expertise in the factory floor and drives innovation.”
The company needed help with market research, customer targeting, product portfolio definition and marketing communications. Eigen Innovations approached Vision Markets in the Spring of 2022 and the first contacts quickly led to an on-site three-day workshop with the leadership team at the company’s headquarters in New Brunswick, Canada. The workshop was moderated by Vision Markets’ founder and CEO Ronald Müller and Senior Marketing Consultant Jean-Philippe Roman.
The outcome was a clear definition of the target customers, their pain points, how the product portfolio could address these and how to reach that new audience. “Onboarding Vision Markets was an easy decision,” remembers Barrett. “We had approached many consulting and marketing companies before, but never found someone who really understood our business. With Vision Markets, we finally found people who had the consulting and marketing expertise and understood vision technology, factory automation, and the market dynamics. Nobody understands us like Vision Markets does.”
Vision Markets is a consulting company specializing in machine vision. Ronald Müller and Jean-Philippe Roman have a long track record in the vision industry. This in-depth knowledge of automated vision inspection on the factory floor allowed the team to ask the right questions and quickly dive into the business challenges facing Eigen.
Following the strategic workshop, an action plan was defined to reposition Eigen Innovations as a software provider for scalable, AI-based machine vision delivering value beyond defect detection. The first step was to sharpen the company’s brand positioning. Vision Market formalized the brand identity of the company – its mission statement, brand promise, values and tone of voice – and encapsulated them into a new brand claim: “Smart vision for the smart factory”. Vision Markets also produced a new corporate video conveying this new identity in an inspiring, emotional way and ran targeted LinkedIn campaigns to build brand awareness and introduce Eigen’s new value proposition to the right audience.
“Smart vision for the smart factory”: Eigen Innovation’s corporate video
Becoming a software company also meant having a clearly defined product portfolio. The various tools that had been used internally now needed to be clustered as software products addressing specific use cases. Building on the portfolio defined during the workshop, Vision Markets designed an infographic and a flyer encompassing the different software modules and their use cases in a simplified, easy-to-understand way. Time was running out as Eigen Innovations needed to introduce its new software portfolio at the VISION show held in Stuttgart, Germany, in October 2022, so the definition of the brand platform, the claim, and the delivery of the first collaterals were completed within three months.
Eigen’s products open a new era in machine vision and manufacturing by making vision systems easily scalable and delivering process insights beyond inspection. This required evangelization of the market, so Vision Markets created a series of short tutorial clips and more extensive educational videos explaining the benefits of Eigen Innovations’ technology for the smart factory. The educational campaign included LinkedIn-sponsored posts, articles in machine vision publications and presentations at industry events and webinars.
Tutorial videos: Explaining each product and service
The effort paid off: one year after the first workshop, the number of new visitors visiting the eigen.io website had grown by 160% and the number of followers of the company’s LinkedIn page by 65% with a surge of LinkedIn page views by a factor 5 between June 2022 and June 2023.
Eigen Innovation released beta versions of its software in the Summer of 2023. “We still have a long way to go, but Vision Markets definitely helped us get up to speed,” says Erin Barrett. “Besides the fact that they speak our language, one key benefit of working with Vision Markets is that they didn’t only help us with strategic consulting and leave us alone with implementation. From content creation to campaign planning and execution, they took care of execution as a full-service.”
“We are very proud of our collaboration with Eigen Innovations, a game-changer in the vision industry,” said Ronald Müller. “This is a perfect example of the range of services Vision Markets can deliver – from strategic consulting to marketing communications strategy and campaign management.”