Whether you’re ordering a Lava Fudge Georgetown Cupcake or attending a startup conference, it's always special to click with the person you're interacting with. Thus, when Courtney Guertin, the co-founder and CTO of Kiip, started our conversation sharing world travels, new iPhones, and even the long wait at the Verizon store his personable demeanor instantly made me feel like we were childhood friends.
One of my favorite things about Courtney is how natural he is. From dissecting challenging coding topics to discussing Kiip’s marketing strategy, his ability to tell engaging stories keeps you captivated to learn more. Imagine it like describing your favorite meal, the flavors of buttery pecans coated in rich vanilla ice cream are familiar but still deliciously exciting.
Courtney's natural leadership and technical skills are driving Kiip’s success and his demeanor serves as an accurate representation of how brands should advertise to their customers; Naturally and without you noticing that anything’s going on in the background.
Take Instagram for example. Sponsored content rolls directly into our feeds and we rarely notice it’s there. That’s the essence of mobile rewards, Courtney explains, and Kiip’s dedicated to building a seamless portal for brands to surprise their customers.
To start companies should weave rewards directly into each user’s experience. Timing and relevancy are key to marketing success, and brands should tailor rewards specifically to an individual’s real-time experience for them to appreciate it. Explanation: Don’t offer a runner who’s logging their latest workout a coupon for a cheeseburger. Try a free new song or Nike coupon instead.
Besides delivery logistics, personalization is the primary indicator of continued success. Similar to Neil Capel’s take on omnichannel personalization, it’s vital for brands to approach their users as friends. For example, you wouldn’t send your foodie friend a coupon for broccoli when you can send them a gift card to Goldbely for Momofuku Milkbar’s German Chocolate Jimbo cake.
The moral of the story is that if the reward doesn’t feel natural, regardless of the fact that it’s free, your users won’t want it. Personalization makes gifting real and meaningful for users. Thus, instead of feeling like a number there’s a genuine notion that brands care, the ultimate foundation of a loyal community.
Christie George from New Media Ventures says it best when she explains that customers are eager to share their opinions with you, you’ve just got to ask for their help. Courtney encourages brands to interact with users to determine the type of rewards they’d like to receive and deliver meaningful ones accordingly.
- How MeUndies Made Merchandising Their Competitive Advantage — When MeUndies thinks about their underwear subscription service they compare themselves to Netflix. What the streaming pioneer did for TV, the Los Angeles startup wants to do to your underwear drawer. The goal is to provide monthly subscribers with the staples they love while delivering elements of surprise - Think briefs with donuts and dinosaurs - right to your doorstep.
- Seedling Relies on Childhood Curiosity to Inspire a Creative Team — On a recent flight home, I spent over an hour browsing a children’s play website, completely enamored by sets like Design Your Own Superhero Cape and Invent Your Own Insects. After sharing Seedling with everyone I know, despite few of my friends having children, I wondered why the brand struck a such a meaningful chord with me.
- eero Designs Wi-Fi for the Smart Home Era — Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Principal at Shasta Ventures, recently distinguished exceptional founders by their ability to prioritize. “It all comes back to prioritization, speed, paranoia, and knowing that if you don’t iterate, even after finding product market fit, you can be disrupted by the next product,” he says.
back to the blog