The other day I was asked by a reader of The Essential Orange if I could also write posts that would benefit mid-sized businesses with low brand recognition. Sure, I thought, I can do that – although I’ve always tried to pick stories that are relevant no matter what the size the business. So thank you Michael for the inspiration for this post!
Because of my love-affair with paper, I’ve decided to focus on “MOO.com”. MOO is a London-based online stationer that… “helps businesses and individuals stand out in an over-crowded world”. Launched in September 2006, venture-backed MOO started with a simple idea – reinventing the “business card” for the web 2.0 crowd – something that made a personal statement and wasn’t stuffy or cheezie. These Mini-Cards are half the size of regular business cards and come in packs of 100 – all with the option of having a different image on each one. Images for the cards can be imported directly or downloaded from Flickr, or you can use any of the MOO design templates.
Now, hands-up all who have heard of MOO?
Well, if you’ve attended a SXSW, chances are you have. Otherwise, having spoken to a number of friends, I’d say MOO was still fairly “undiscovered” by mainstream. Yet this company with low brand recognition seems to be fairly successful. They ship to customers in over 100 countries, in their first year they printed more than 10 million cards worldwide and have experienced triple digit growth since launching. In order to reduce shipping times, they are opening an office in
So what’s their secret?
Their product is differentiated – it’s a great example of mass-customization that’s affordable, personal, and has relatively short turnaround/delivery (soon to improve). And the whole process on their web-site is super easy.
They have the right kind of brand recognition from the people who really matter – the kind of people who really care about and want to buy their products. And they’ve accomplished this, not by running ads on TV or fancy magazines, but by engaging with their target in conversations in venues where they “live” and by enabling conversations between users with similar interests or passions.
To quote Seth Godin in Meatball Sundae, MOO.com practices “The New Marketing” which… “treats every interaction, product, service and side effect as a form of media”. Offline they are at events like South by Southwest (US), Photoshopworld (US) and Social Media Influence (UK). Online, they’re active with fan bases in Facebook, Bedo, Flickr, and Etsy. They have an engaging blog and often host meet-ups looking for new ideas. And their SEO strategy seems to working – that’s how I discovered MOO and have become a “raving fan”.
In summary, MOO.com offers a great product that stands out, excellent customer service and engages with their customer, creating meaningful opportunities for conversation and shared passions – stuff any organization – big, small, medium or indifferent could benefit from.