This is a Guest Post by Derek Tye, Founder of HDHK
When it comes to launching a startup, it can take a village. My team and I recently learned that lesson in the best possible way when we tapped into our community to get invaluable feedback and thoughts on how we were doing as a company—a lesson most organizations don’t learn until it’s too late.
Let me explain. Our development team started building an app called How Did He Know back in February. We researched names and concepts, and we worked our way up to a public beta launch in August. Last month, Cintrifuse sent out an email describing an opportunity for businesses like ours to be paired with MBA students from Miami University in Oxford who want to study real-market businesses. Through a few exchanges, we ended up getting two teams who would evaluate our business and, more specifically, our marketing challenges.
From the very beginning we had a great experience. One of the MBA teams sent us a detailed list of questions that we needed to answer regarding our hard-pressing marketing issues. The other team called and spent about an hour on the phone with us asking the same type of questions but went into a little bit more detail. Both promised to work on the issues as a class project and present solutions and recommendations to us in a few weeks’ time.
The main issues we identified were:
1. Who should be our target demographic for relationship advice?
2. How do we market to this group most effectively?
3. What are other opportunities to grow our brand we may not have thought of?
4. How do we integrate future features?
We were able to take some of our “next step” questions and ask the teams to help us answer them. After what was clearly many, many hours of hard work over several weeks, the teams presented their findings and suggestions to us. The detail of their analyses was amazing. They both had a highly organized PowerPoint presentation, as well as an individualized presentation style and answers to the questions we posed to them weeks earlier. They went even deeper into detail than we expected.
Based upon some of the teams’ findings, we currently are modifying our brand goals and objective. One example of this is to possibly change our name to a more gender-neutral app name that still speaks to our larger relationship market, like Couple Bliss. Previous to this experience, we were evaluating at some very expensive market research studies and surveys. This research team approach has saved us several thousands of dollars for work that we find equal in caliber and reliability.
As we roll out our Android version in the coming month and look toward future branding changes, we are very optimistic about our company and our partnership with Cintrifuse. It has served us greatly!
Derek Tye is a serial entrepreneur. His creativity and insight have let to several companies, including his latest venture HDHK, LLC. HDHK’s first product is How Did He Know?, a revolutionary relationship growth app now available in the iTunes app store. Derek is also the President of The Tye Group, a successful real estate sales team in Montgomery, Ohio. He is currently the President of the Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, inventor of the RaceNRamp, a husband to Jessica, and Dad to five children!