Gearon Enters the BuyerZone

Positions Site as the Consumer Reports of B2B Commerce
BOSTON–Gearon Hoffman is launching its first nationwide branding push for, a site providing reviews, analysis and retail links for businesses looking to purchase equipment and services.
The Boston agency is working with buying and planning service ProMedia, Needham, Mass., on the effort, which is estimated to bill in the $5-7 million range.
Partners & Simons, Boston, had previously worked for the client, but the two parted ways before any significant ads were produces. Gearon Hoffman was subsequently chosen without a review, said Sarah Montague, BuyerZone’s senior vice president of marketing. “I knew them; I liked their work,” said Montague, who joined the client two months ago from Arnold Communications, Boston.
The campaign from Gearon Hoffman marks the Cambridge, Mass., client’s first major branding foray.
Print ads tagged “Buy smart for your business” break this month in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, BusinessWeek, Red Herring and elsewhere. Broadcast and outdoor executions will follow.
BuyerZone wants to position its site as a value-added alternative or addition to conventional e-commerce sites like
“It’s not just a place to buy. It’s a place to learn” about products and services, an online Consumer Reports for business buying, said agency president Bob Hoffman.
“They’re independent and unbiased. They can give people making decisions on big items an exhaustive amount of data and analysis in addition to retail links,” he said.
One print effort features a large office copier with a small text box displayed as an “Attention!” sticker on the side of the machine. The sticker appears to contain a message from the manufacturer or service agent, but actually reads: “This machine copies 20 pages per minute, which won’t come close to finishing that job you pro-mised your biggest client yesterday. Try, where we’ve researched over 150,000 different business products and services … so you don’t have to. Like you ever would.”
BuyerZone provides purchasing tools and advice to small- and mid-sized companies. The site covers more than 200 types of business purchases, ranging from 401(k) plans to computers, fax machines and voice-mail systems.
Unlike Consumer Reports, the site will accept advertising, but pledges that its reviews and advice columns will not be influenced by paid sponsors. K