It’s not often you get the opportunity to be part of a business from the very beginning. I was lucky enough to join VibePay a few months before the app was ready to launch and set the foundations in place.
Almost a year on, a lot has happened, we’ve had many ups and downs and Covid-19 thrown in, but seeing articles as such being posted makes me proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team, and how much we've been given back to our super supportive Community.
Launching a new app is no mean feat, there are so many things to consider, here are some of the ones that went through my mind early July 2019:
- Native vs web
- BETA launch vs the whole feature suite
- Target audience
- How do we talk to thee audiences/acquire new users
- Are there regulatory constraints
- Budgets - full blown launch or beta launch
- Team - size, areas or expertise
- Channels to support launch and further growth
And so on…
All of the above was in our minds in the weeks prior to launch, that mix of excitement and minor panic; will it work? how will it be received?...
We went with Native, Beta, Gen Z, non-traditional acquisition channels and very small budget.
Why did we do this?
This was a new payments app, we weren’t sure what features would work better, so a beta product gave us the opportunity to launch and make changes to features/functionality based on user’s feedback. This was super important to us; there is no point in launching an app that no-one is going to use, so engaging our users at every step was key. In the first 3 months we released features and enhancements every 2 weeks based on what the community were suggesting. We went back to the drawing board a couple of times and scrapped some features we thought were key at the beginning (remember groups anyone?) and then realised no-one was using them. You live and learn!
Gen Z as a target audience fits naturally within Vibe, we had been running VibeTickets for over 5 years and it was an audience that we understood, but also an audience that often gets forgotten and is highly underserved. This is true when it comes to financial services - they have little or none credit history, they’re difficult to track, they don’t respond to traditional channels. Some would say, they’re hard to market to…but just because it's hard doesn't mean you should ignore them right?! 🤦♀️
When I landed the role there were many assumptions on channels, from your traditional digital (search, display, etc) to ATL (TV, press). With a 6 figure budget, those channels are a good starting point, they help you raise awareness and start to build performance.
The reality was we had none of those budgets, so our channel strategy was very much focused on social media and word of mouth. It had worked on VibeTickets so why wouldn’t it work on a finance app? A lot of people thought we were focusing on the wrong channels, you don’t launch a financial app on Twitter...
We did it! Launched on Twitter and grew our followers to 30K milestone reached last Friday as well as expanding our social channels to include Instagram, which is now just short of 15K followers.
Some of our results
- By the time we were ready to launch our Beta app we had 10,000 registered users joining our waiting list.
- Mostly every week we’re #1 trending app in the UK and our posts have high engagement
- JME sponsored our VibePayFriday last week (totally unprompted!)
- 4.9* ratings on Apple Store - we're doing something right!
- 25,000 + downloads
None of the above would have been possible without the support of our Community, so thank you! You make VibePay BETA (excuse the pun!)
New and exciting features, market expansion, who knows?! but be sure to follow @BuildingVibe on Twitter to see where we go next.