Three weeks ago we announced an exciting (and fun) challenge with our friends over at KISSmetrics. For this challenge, we would identify 3 start-ups who have never used KISSmetrics and who do not have a phone number on their site. We launched this phone number challenge to test our hypothesis:
People feel more comfortable with brands that they can put a face behind. Even though you might purchase a product exclusively online, having a phone number on your site and the ability to talk to a real person (who cares) in turn makes you feel more comfortable taking out your wallet (or recommending someone else to) for this brand.
We were overwhelmed by the response we got from our community! We received well over 30 entries from all sorts of cool companies. This past week we have been examining and digging a bit deeper into each company, and we have finally made our decisions!
And the contestants are…
1. DODOcase – Protecting your iPad from extinction
These guys make really awesome, unique, and durable cases for all of your valuable devices. While their bread and butter is the iPad market, they also address the Blackberry Playbook, Kindle, and even iPhone markets. If you were to Google “Best iPad Cases,” you would quickly see how well respected DODO has become. I mean look at their site, they have gotten love from Forbes, New York Times, Engadget, and MacWorld.
Fun facts about DODO:
Their products are hand made in San Francisco.
They use traditional bookbinding techniques and are in fact helping to keep the book binding art/industry alive!
Their most common, most popular product is $60 and comes in 7-8 different colors!
2. Flowr – Simplified collaboration at work
Our friends at Flowr enable you to share ideas, files, create tasks, and collaborate with your co-workers. Flowr believes that email and an intranet are simply not enough (and we agree!). If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe Mashable – “Flowr is Facebook skinned for the enterprise” or ReadWriteWeb – “Bring real-time collaboration to your company with Flowr’s amazingly simple app.”
Fun facts about Flowr:
Over 5,000 businesses are currently collaborating with their tool.
They have a sweet mobile app (for both iPhone and Android).
You can use it for free for up to 5 users and 100MB (which is really sweet)…otherwise the product is $59/month for 15 users.
3. SiteSlinger – Design to code in 12 hours or less (Guaranteed)
SiteSlinger transforms your designs into quality (search engine friendly) xHTML and CSS code in 12 hours or less. While they preach turnaround time as their differentiating factor, their top priorities are far and away quality and customer service. Not only do they back up their words with a guarantee but they are also willing to refund your money within 24 hours if you’re not happy. You have to respect people like this who put their money behind their work.
Fun facts about SiteSlinger:
They used to be called “Elite CSS” and recently rebranded to Site Slinger.
They have offices in Boston and Austin.
They charge $69 for your first page and $40 for each subpage.
If you call them (on their new Grasshopper number =) ) they offer bulk discounts for designers!
What happens next?
We are going to spend the next 2 weeks getting our new friends fully integrated and set up on our systems. At that point, we will begin the actual challenge and start collecting data (a lot of it), which we plan to share with you at the end.
Once the challenge begins, we will update you and urge you to call our friends on their new numbers. Outside of that just stay tuned as we will probably give you a mid-way report once things are really in motion.
If you have any questions or are just curious about what’s going on, don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me at @jonathanckay on Twitter or shoot me an email at [jkay(at)grasshopper(dot)com](mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Let the games begin!