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"We try to surprise and delight our customers all the time. The cookie came as a way to do that in the beginning. The whole thing is to do things that don't scale. It's consumed our brand and become a really big piece of it. We never expected it, but we're sticking to it. 

Doing laundry and dry cleaning is a repeatable business. Many companies have come to us asking us to do a promotion with them to help spread the word about their business. We rarely say yes to those opportunities. 

When we find a promotion or opportunity that brings a massive amount of value to our consumer that's the type of deal we do. 

In the case of nice laundry, they offered us to give away thousands of pairs of socks to our customers. Not only do our customers get a really nice pair of socks they get to learn about a cool new brand. 

That to us is the ideal type of partnership. Everyone wins."


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"Be confident. Once you have the facts you're never going to be 100 % confident that the decision you're going to make is going to be the right one. If you have 70% confidence you're lucky. Once you've made the decision there is really no turning back. 

When we made the decision to pivot we had 3,500 makers on our platform. 25 people left because of the switch. We contacted each one of them individually and we let them know why we were making the switch. We took it very seriously that we made the switch and that the deal was going to be a bit different for them. We earned a lot of their trust and respect because we were open with them and we never backed down. Even if they had complaints about our change we were unwilling to back down from what we knew was the right move."

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Customize Early Interactions with Your Customers

Neil Capel // Founder and CEO of Sailthru

"It's not just about the initial lift. If you measure everything every day the continuing engagement is vastly different. 
If you are a brand new e-commerce retailer and you signed up 10 users today and do the traditional response of sending them all the same email every day. Chances are you're going to have one engaged customer at the end of those days because you've been hitting them with irrelevant detials.
If you customize the emails, which an e-commerce company with 10 customers can do, you'll actually have maybe 9 engaged customers. That's not only giving the instant lift of engaging the user in buying and interacting more. The actual effect is the user coming back. It creates a far more engaged audience because the customer is talking about you more often, introducing their friends to the brand, and building community. It's not just the extension of lifetime value and the lift in revenue but an actual increase of engagement across the entire landscape." 
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Go Above and Beyond for Your Customers

Sam Rosen // Founder of MakeSpace

"When you build software you don't want to get into the business of custom development. 

You have to understand if other customers need the feature or service before implementing it. 

When you're dealing with a consumer business, especially a scalable service business, you have to make sure that each experience is pleasant and exactly what the customer wanted. 

You have to listen to customers when they call you. For example, we had someone call and say that someone in their family passed and they need to store their things. Our customer happiness team sent them a customer condolences card. 

I say it candidly, but giving a shit goes a long way. 

There are times when customers have single inquiries and want us to do something different. That might just be what differentiates us. That's when they go in and spread the word saying: 'Makespace accommodated me the day before Christmas. I left my ornaments in my storage and they brought them.'

We didn't have anyone open and our warehouse was closing early. We jumped in a Zipcar and did it. It cost us way more than they were paying for the delivery, but that's not the point. They needed their stuff and Makespace had to be available. 

The best thing that I've heard came from Paul Graham: "Do things that don't scale."  

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Why You Need to Take Your Brand Offline

Soraya Darabi // Co-Founder of Zady

"Whether it's La Guardia airport or Montauk New York, we really believe that in order to be a modern brand born online you have to know that shopping is a visceral experience. People love to shop with their eyes. 

We always want to be a brand that gets to know our customers in real life. 

First and foremost we learn a lot. We speak with them, engage with them, we hear what kinds of products they're looking for, and what excites them about the Zady mission. 

To us, as technologists, we call that data. It's also real life experience with a large group of great test consumers. 

Pop-up shops are a great opportunity for us to show the real story of Zady. We lead with a mission sign displaying our five brand values. 

When people see that as they enter our pop-up shop they recognize immediately what we stand for. Our brand values are our strength. 

We will never turn our back to the physical experience. It's really important for a brand born online to be omnichannel."

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Target Your Customers Where They Are

Neil Capel // Founder and CEO of Sailthru

"The biggest misconception is looking at channels in different ways. People look at channel performance, not consumer performance. You need to look at consumer performance because consumers are moving mediums.
The consumer may be an avid buyer who checks every email. Suddenly, they download the app and now they're an avid app user. If you're hitting them with a emails and notifications, you're going to send them out the funnel. Now you've lost them completely. 
It's about the customer experience. We all talk about it but really focusing on the customer experience is looking at a single customer as a customer. Find out when and where you are reaching out to them and don't overload them. I
The misconception is that people tend to look at the KPI's of their email, mobile and web campaigns. You've really got to look at the consumer and where they're coming back." 

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