How our niche-product (SimpleCrew) pitch has evolved over time.

Had a random thought today: it’s interesting how our product pitch for SimpleCrew has evolved over time.I’ve explained to folks before that, while the actual idea for SimpleCrew hasn’t changed since we started 3 years ago, the way we’ve described SimpleCrew has changed and evolved a lot over time.Back when we started, we were describing SimpleCrew as a “field team management application”:

SimpleCrew makes field teams more effective and more accountable. Using our platform, field teams and their managers send, collect and organize photos, surveys, and other information easily and efficiently.

It sort of touches on what the idea is, but it doesn’t really make it clear for someone what the use is, what the value is, or why someone would use the app.These days when someone asks about the app, I start by saying it’s a “Street Team Reporting App”, and then quickly ask them if they’re familiar with the concept of a street team.Most people aren’t, so that usually leads to a quick explanation of what a street team is:

You know when you go downtown and you see posters promoting some upcoming event or music festival?Some promoter spent thousands of dollars having those printed, and then distributes them across a team of volunteers to post around town.That’s called a "street team”, and when they do street team marketing, they need some process in place to make sure all the posters are going where they should be going, instead of just going to waste.

Once that’s clear, I go on with a brief description of how exactly our app accomplishes that:

Street team members do their work (hanging up posters, handing out flyers) and then take pictures of the work with our mobile app.Then, their manager can log in online and see organized reports showing all the photos that have been submitted, and info including who took each photo, the date and the time, and location (we use the GPS location from the team member’s smartphones to pin the location of every photo on a map).This way, the team will be more accountable and effective.

Since it’s a niche product, the most important change was describing the use case first: some poeple aren’t familiar with what a street team is, and they’ve never really thought about or considered that little corner of marketing.So making that clear when talking with new poeple about the app is key, so they have a full understanding.Even if they don’t become a customer themselves, at least they can relate to it and understand it, and perhaps in the future if they ever come across a friend in a band, or who works for a concert venue or music festival or something, the lightbulb could click and they’ll make the connection.

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