Dake catches the Halloween spirit at AVB Marketing’s Sacramento headquarters.
By Alan Wolf and Andy Kriege
As Senior Product Manager of LINQ, Laura Dake has helped BrandSource members grow their online businesses exponentially.
Her role at AVB Marketing centers on bringing new features of the proprietary e-commerce merchandising tool to market. Dake is involved in every step of the process, from concept to release, in what is a fairly complex progression.
“I typically start out with stakeholder meetings and collaborate with the design team on user experience,” she told YSN. “Once the design and user flow are solidified, the software development team and I scope out how we want to build the feature. From there, I do a lot of organizing and project planning until we have a prototype to test.”
Next, Dake coordinates beta testing groups both internally and externally to test out the feature and provide feedback, in a stage she describes as “the fun part.” Based on the dealers’ experience, the team will then tweak the software and finally release the feature to members.
Dake finds her work extremely gratifying, as “Everything we build in the development department is meant to help members’ businesses in some way. I know that the work I’m putting in makes a difference in a dealer’s ability to manage their website and, ultimately, their sales.”
Outside of the development cycle, Dake also helps members by pitching in wherever she’s needed, whether answering questions about LINQ, triaging support tickets, conducting LINQ learning sessions at Summits and Conventions, or helping out with other department projects.
Besides the satisfaction she derives from boosting members’ businesses, she also enjoys working with individual dealers and colleagues. “We’ve got a great crew here at AVB Marketing and fantastic members,” she said.
In her additional role as a BrandSource Young Professional, Dake also brings her know-how to gatherings of the group’s under-40 dealers, sales managers and vendor partners. At the last formal YP jamboree — a pre-pandemic Young Professionals University in New Orleans — she led a class in LINQ merchandising and is slated to join the group again this fall in Austin.
Dake was recently lauded for both her roles by industry authority Dealerscope magazine, which named her to its vaunted “40 Under 40” awards program. The annual honor goes to 40 of the industry’s best and brightest millennials, who are chosen for their accomplishments, selflessness, can-do spirit and contributions to business.
When she’s not busy enhancing AVB’s online merchandising platform or assisting member dealers, Dake likes to read and practice yoga. “I’m a big bookworm,” she says of the former, “and my ideal lazy day is getting lost in a book.” Dake also shares her love of yoga by teaching classes, as she did at YP University and online during last spring’s Virtual Summit.
“I also love to explore,” she added, “whether that’s a new city, a museum, the inside of a bookstore, or the menu of a restaurant.”
A native of Sacramento, Dake joined AVB in 2014 as a website services account manager, and worked her way up the digital ladder as a marketing account manager and product content manager before being elevated to her current role. Prior to BrandSource, her resume ranged from dance instructor and sales associate to social media administrator for online auction site ZooGrab.
During the COVID quarantines, she helped pass the time by testing a few new recipes each week in her kitchen, and tackled the herculean task of re-watching the entire Star Wars canon chronologically, including the cartoon shows. “This turned out to be weeks’ worth of entertainment,” she recalls.
As galactic an accomplishment as that may be, her proudest achievement this year was releasing a completely re-skinned version of LINQ’s user interface. “Rebuilding a UI is no small feat,” she recently told Dealerscope. “My team and I poured countless ideas and hours into the project and re-envisioned something truly awesome!”
You know what, Laura? We think that you are truly awesome!
BrandSource, a unit of YSN publisher AVB Inc., is a nationwide buying group for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and CE dealers.