Byte is a teledentistry company that launched in 2019 that makes clear aligners for mild to moderate dental issues. Byte aligners marketing strategy has allowed the company to grow into a billion dollar company. This year Dentsply, a dental equipment manufacturer acquired Byte for $1.04 billion dollars. Denstply and Byte both have similar shared missions. So, for Byte the transaction allowed them to extend their mission of offering affordable care to patients in underserved communities and highlight the improtance of oral hygiene. They partner with organizations to make their mission a reality. The brand also works with social media influncers in an effort to reach a wide audience and increase brand awareness.
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Byte’s Competitive Advantage
Byte stood out against their competitors by using technology that cut the treatment time in half. “We have an exclusive device, HyperByte, which cuts treatment time in half, with an average treatment time of just three months. That is nothing to take lightly in an industry where most of us think in terms of the words “braces’ and “years”—it’s crazy to know we can now speak in terms of just “months.” For instance, Byte offers more advances technology called HyperByte to cut treatment time while one of their competitors. SmileDirect Club, offer chewies that are made to seat your aligners on your teeth to make treatment faster.
Also, Byte has made their treatments and services 100% remotely. While other brands require you to visit a dentist at least once. With Byte the customer will take their own impressions and send them in to Byte’s licensed orthodontist who will design your personalized treatment plan. This makes Byte more convenient for customers who are looking for a process that avoids in-person visits.
Byte Aligners Marketing Strategy
Byte aligners marketing strategy utilized many different tactics to help grow the company to the company it is today. Upon entering the TeleDentistry market their strategy was straightforward, be bold. However, they then turned to marketing techniques like partnerships, endorsements, and the growing need of influencer marketing.
When byte first entered the market of teledentistry and at-home alignment treatments, there were already well-established companies in the market. So, when the brand first entered the market their initial strategy was simple, be bold. For instance, entering a well-established market space with a URL like byteme.com wasn’t exactly making a quiet or timid entrance.
The brand also marketed the bold technology that allowed them to cut their treatment time in half. This is known as HypreByte, which allows treatment to be done in as little as three months. “That is nothing to take lightly in an industry where most of us think in terms of the words “braces’ and “years”—it’s crazy to know we can now speak in terms of just “months.” Our product was a clear winner.”
The company launched ByteCares with the mission that aimed to improve 10,000 smiles by 2022. ByteCares ByteCares brought the company some attention and it started to gain traction. ByteCares aims to build confidence throughout communities by providing them free access to teledentistry, Byte products, education on hygiene, and helping empower individuals and families who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
ByteCares partners with multiple organizations including the LA Promise Fund, the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, and other nonprofits such as Midnight Mission, Learning Lab Ventures, the City of Carson for greater teledentistry access. More recently during the COVID pandemic, ByteCares helped support frontline healthcare workers across the nation by transforming their factory to manufacture face shields and ventilator parts.
To highlight one partnership, Byte partnered with LA Promise Fund to provide oral care for students, families, and faculty in South Los Angeles. “At byte, increasing access to care is the driving force behind everything we do,” said Neeraj Gunsagar, President of byte. “We’re proud to be able to support the students, parents, and teachers of high schools in South LA who might not otherwise have proper access to oral healthcare. This is why we do what we do.”
Byte Investor – Kerry Washington
After Byte’s launch of ByteCare, Kerry Washington, Emmy, SAG, and Golden Globe nominated actor, director, producer, and activist heard about ByteCare’s initiative and mission and wanted to invest in Byte. Kerry became an investor of Byte but was also brought on as Creative Advisor. At Byte, she’ll work alongside our leadership team to help drive creative direction and strategy and expand our ByteCares giveback program to support even more people that otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity.
For Kerry, it was important for her that any brand she partners with is also reflective of her choices as a consumer. She’s only interested in working with companies whose values are in line with her own. This is also true for consumers. “Nearly two-thirds (63%) of surveyed global consumers prefer to purchase products and services from companies that stand for a purpose that reflects their own values and beliefs, and will avoid companies that don’t.” This is important because consumers are looking to support companies with a brand purpose and Byte found its purpose with ByteCares.
Initially Byte was investing their marketing budget into details like amazing packaging and a memorable unboxing experience. The brand knew they needed to make changes to their marketing so they decided to partner with micro-influencers in order to spread the word about the brand and generate meaningful content. Byte aligners marketing startegy later also entailed collaborating with social media influencer.
These influncers post on their social media and offer their followers a coupon code to use should they be interested in trying out Byte. Some offers include buying an Impression Kit at $25 rather than the normal price of $95. These influencer also post updates about their different Byte treatments. Some of these influencers are using the teeth whitening kit, while some are utilizing the HyperByte technology. Some of them even post videos trying out the products. These influencers use hashtags in their posts like #byteme and #mybytejourney.
Aside from partnering with micro-influencers, the brand has also received endorsements from major celebrities. These endorsements include popular singer LeAnn Rimes and Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski. These endorsements helped the brand stand out in the $12 billion U.S. orthodontics industry. Byte is also the official smile partner for the NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks.
The goal of the Seattle Seahawk partnership is to help more attain the smile they want by spreading the word of teledentistry and its easily accessible care. Seattle Seahawk fans and NFL fans were able to see the results of using Byte firsthand, as Seahawks safety, Quandre Diggs was undergoing alignment treatment at the time of the promotion. “Confidence is a huge part of the game, and Byte’s helping me take mine to the next level,” said Quandre Diggs, safety for the Seahawks. “From practice to games, I spend a lot of time on the move. Being able to straighten my teeth without having to make time for regular appointments makes the whole process a lot easier.”
Dentsply’s Billion Dollar Acquisition
While Byte was on pace to hit $100 million in annual sales in less than two years, Dentsply Sirona Inc. took advantage of an opportunity and acquired the startup for $1 billion in December 2020. Dentsply Sirona has its own clear aligner business called SureSmile and Byte holds a leadership position in the rapidly growing direct-to-consumer teeth aligner market. Through this acquisition Dentsply was able to able to strengthen its connection with dental professionals. “With the global reach and supply chain expertise of Dentsply Sirona, and the innovative direct-to-consumer system that Byte brings, the combined company’s clear aligner platform is well-positioned to drive additional growth.” Both companies had advantages that when brought together would accelerate their growth and profitability.
For Byte working with Dentsply Sirona provided them with more resources that allowed them to stay true to their and follow througn on their mission. It provided them with means to reach additional customers and accelerate their mission of changing the world one smile at a time. It also increased their ability to offer affordable care to patients and increases awareness of the overall benefits of oral care. “Our team is committed to driving our strong growth and we are delighted to join the Dentsply Sirona family as we execute on our shared mission.”
Byte aligners marketing strategy allowed the company to grow to the billion dollar company it is now. Its bold technology and partnerships allowed the company to gain traction in the TeleDentistry market. Byte utilized many different marketing tactics to help grow the company. Upon entering the TeleDentistry market their strategy was blunt and straightforward, be bold. They advertised their bold technology and even made a statement with their URL, byteme.com. However, they then turned to marketing techniques like partnerships, investors, and the growing demand of influencer marketing.
Byte partnered with different organizations to stay true to their mission of making oral care easily accessible for under-served communities. They also partnered with Kerry Washington as an investor who was also passionate about the brand’s mission and goal. At first, it seems like just a great convenient service, but as the co-founders dug deeper, it’s actually a revolutionary approach that can help under-served, or remote communities across the country who never had access to great dental care. The technology we are putting into place can have a much larger impact on people’s health and wellbeing.
Want to learn about another direct-to-consumer teeth aligner services? Read our article SmileDirect Club’s Marketing Strategy. The article will go into detail of how the company continues to drive controlled and profitable growth.