Dueling Self Storage Companies in New York City

Have you ever heard of the song Dueling Banjos? It was originally called Feuding Banjos. In the song, one banjo player strums a few notes and then the other banjo player repeats the same strain of music. They go back and forth, back and forth taking turns playing until they are playing a duet.

There’s a duel starting to simmer in Manhattan – a duel between an established self storage business and the new kid on the block.

The new kid on the block is MakeSpace. It is an on-demand storage startup. They launched their business in September 2013 in New York City. They offer “cloud” storage for people’s physical items. That’s their advertising pitch.

Manhattan Mini Storage is the established business. They recentlly unveiled their Spring 2014 marketing campaign. One of their ads states: “Don’t Trust the Cloud.” Sam Rosen, MakeSpace CEO, thinks that the ad is targeted specifically at his company.

Rosen has a solid foundation for his claim. There isn’t any other self storage business in New York that offers “cloud” storage.

On the other hand, Adam Sank, communications manager for Manhattan Mini Storage, claims that their ad refers to ‘virtual’ storage like the iPhone’s Cloud. Sank says that it has nothing whatsoever to do with MakeSpace – or even any other cloud storage company for that matter. Besides that, it is only one of the 10 ads in Manhattan Mini Storage’s spring campaign.

That “cloud” ad is visually hard to miss. It rises two stories high above the streets of New York. And if people are aware of MakeSpace, it’s hard to miss the implication that Manhattan Mini Storage makes against MakeSpace

Rosen doesn’t buy Sank’s claim. He thinks that because MakeSpace mentioned Manhattan Mini Storage on their FAQ that Manhattan Mini Storage created the ad in retaliation.

Today, MakeSpace had a van in Union Square in Manhattan. The company set up shop and displayed their plastic bins and passed out $25 of free storage to those who were interested.

How will the dueling of a ‘Goliath’ of a storage company affect the upstart ‘David’ business? While only time will tell, I doubt that they will ever play a duet of fine music together.

Sources Used:

“A Startup Called MakeSpace Thinks Manhattan Mini Storage Is Attacking It With Its Billboards.”  The Business Insider; 16 June 2014.


Manhattan Mini Storage.

Dueling Banjos. Wikipedia.

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