Topic: Case Studies

Trello: marking a milestone by delighting customers

Trello, a web-based project management app from Fog Creek Software that can also be synced with a smartphone app, makes project collaboration simple and rather enjoyable. And as of yesterday it boasts 500,000 signups, which is awesome- and the way they decided to celebrate is even awesomer (I don’t care, it should be a word). (more…)

What could you do to improve your productivity by 10%?

There’s a lot of GTD and productivity talk in the startupsphere. All fine and dandy, but for most us there’s a laundry list of productivity hacks much simpler than GTD. Things so simple, David Allen would be laughed off the bookshelves if he wrote about them! But since I don’t have any books to sell, let me share my little secret with you… (more…)

We loved Make Something People Love

If you haven’t already you should check out Alexis Ohanian‘s (he’s the guy behind Reddit, Hipmunk & Breadpig) new book released by Hyperink. It’s a quick and easy read about how to create a product and company that customers love and includes a bunch of real-life examples culled from his personal experience as well as the broader startup community. Beyond building something people want, it’s important you use available tools with care including user experience design, social media, and swag to further delight potential customers. He takes the time to stress that treating your first 100 fans well can go a long way (but don’t think that means you can stop at 100). The point is to build a passionate group of users (as about 80% of the use of your product will come from only 20% of users). For obvious reasons, we particularly enjoyed his take on the benefits of using swag to make folks swoon: (more…)

Creating creativity

Creativity (and the resulting innovation) is a key ingredient in many businesses. And while you probably understand what creativity is, you might not know how to make it happen (other than with a magic wand). Based on Jonah Lehrer’s IMAGINE, here are a couple ideas for fostering creativity within your company: (more…)

How t-shirts helped create a community

This is a guest post by Kelly Young, who writes daily blogs on her website Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior. She is more than her disease and her website is more than her own story. It is a growing community of empowered patients and a source of information about fighting RA and stories of other patients with autoimmune arthritis.

Do you really need t-shirts for your cause?

I have a t-shirt drawer, doesn’t everyone? Every year, I weed out a few old ones I finally admit I’ll never wear again. There are shirts from every school or church event we ever volunteered for – not to mention those from amusement parks and sports teams. The memories are wonderful, but some shirts are scratchy and never fit right. Do we really still need t-shirts for one more cause? Yes. Let me explain why…

The value of a visual identity

I have watched the birth of a new community. Unlike the diabetes community which has existed online for almost a decade, the rheumatology patient community did not exist at all. But over the last couple of years, patients have begun to connect. Several things played a part in this beginning: first blogs, then a Facebook group, then Twitter chats. But t-shirts played a surprising role, too. Here’s one example.

Launching an awareness campaign using t-shirts & social media

Last spring, Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior held a t-shirt contest based on a Wonder Woman image I created as a t-shirt design called Warrior Woman. People used the design as a profile image on Facebook or Twitter to enter to win the contest. To earn more contest entries, they could also mention the contest on their own blog or social media profiles. Even guys played along.

In case you haven’t already guessed it, the contest was actually a clever awareness campaign for RA. But, it was even more than that: it was also a significant moment for our budding community. Every day, we could see one another using the same image – the Wonder Woman t-shirt design. It re-enforced that we were a team. Before long, members of the community were posting photos on Facebook of themselves in our t-shirts.

Creating a sense of belonging in virtual communities

A virtual community is a real community since real people are involved in real conversations that often become relationships. However, when there is something visual, it helps people to consider the community as real. T-shirts are a one way to help people feel like they belong to one another.

I hope this gives someone another way to think about t-shirts and other kinds of branded swag. They are more than just advertising for a company. And they are even more than just tools for awareness for a good cause. Sometimes, they can help create a family resemblance.