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You can’t create a great product or take it to market without paying close attention to your users' needs. That’s why we build user research into every project at Mint, whether we’re working for a client or creating and marketing a product of our own.
There are countless ways to learn about audiences and their behaviours and needs. We’ve conducted user research in all kinds of ways at Mint: sometimes a discovery phase lasts weeks, other times budgets and deadlines are tighter and we need to get creative to find out what we need to know quickly.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned.
When we have a designer position available at Mint, we tend to get a lot of applications; most very good, some that need improvement. It’s quite a task going through all of them to find the right candidate. It’s also hard for young designers to know how to stand out, or what studios are looking for.
For most startups, the first step is to find a core group of users who love the product. This is the group of early adopters: the customers who help you develop the product, the ones you talk to frequently and the ones who will evangelise the product (if you do a good job!). With DeskBeers we were lucky in that we found this early adopter group quickly: turns out that there’s a big appetite in London for amazing beers delivered to your office at the end of the week (who knew?).
After cultivating this group of early adopters, the next step is to scale. For a while this involved cold emails and cold calls, letting companies around London know that DeskBeers existed and they could buy some beers from us, if they fancied it. This worked well but with a small team, it’s ultimately very time consuming and expensive.
Last month, Boomf moved from being a joint venture between Nice Cakes and Mint Digital to being an independent company. I'm becoming Boomf's CEO. Boomf’s other co-founder James Middleton, becomes Production Director, in charge of further innovation, as well as manufacturing and logistics.
Also joining Boomf are Chara Oikonomidou and Iggy Hilton from Mint and Lara Woodhead and Inga Kaplon from Nice. A few people have asked: what made us want to dedicate ourselves to marshmallows?
Over the past few months we have been focussing on a different angle of distribution for one of our products.
Historically we’ve sold our products directly through our websites, however last year we had a bit of brain wave with Projecteo and began contacting some of our favourite retailers to see if they would like to collaborate with us.