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Eric Tong, B.A.’91

Eric Tong

Word-of-Mouth Success

By Jim Sciancalepore, M.A.’93

Great value. Excellent customer service. Lifetime warranty.

This is the formula that Eric Tong and his business partner have parlayed into a nearly overnight success story. Following what he termed “a mid-life crisis” after nearly two decades in the consumer electronics industry, Tong decided to strike out on his own ... and co-founded Tech Armor in June of 2012. Tech Armor manufactures screen protectors, cases, cables, and mobile charging solutions for smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

They sold only 89 units in their first month, but they moved more than 300,000 in their first six months. By the end of 2014, they had sold 6 million screen protectors.

More remarkably, Tech Armor achieved this growth without any retail displays in “brick-and-mortar” stores, and with no traditional marketing support. Their product is sold exclusively online, primarily through,, and Ebay, and their promotion is largely a combination of social media, public relations and paid search (Amazon and Google). In online selling environments like Amazon, a product’s success hinges upon its user-generated reviews. Based on its many four- and five-star ratings and some 10,000+ reviews, Tech Armor’s products are held in high regard.

Tech Armor Homepage
Photo: Tech Armor homepage,

“We stand behind our product, and people appreciate that,” said Tong.

On the rare occasions that someone posts a negative comment about the product, Tong’s customer-service team responds promptly – reaching out to dissatisfied customers, and often sending them a free replacement product.

“You have to be nimble in our business,” explained Tong. “Word of mouth is everything.”

Tong remembers his UAlbany days fondly – especially the accessible, approachable faculty. “I feel like every single teacher was there to help,” he noted.

Next: Adam Denenberg, B.S.’98