This week I had the pleasure of chatting with the CEO of Brand Buddee, Andy Karuza. He introduced me to his up and coming social media discovery and distribution platform.
Since I was impressed with how the platform can help businesses leverage social media to amplify their brand awareness through their fan base, I thought I would bring him on to tell his story.
What exactly is Brand Buddee and how does it help businesses?
Our business is an internet-based word-of-mouth marketing tool that helps brands get the word out about their business through its customers and fans.
Word-of-mouth marketing is the #1 most trusted form of advertising. As a business, you can simply post a story, create a non-monetary reward for the top brand advocates who share it, then let your community and ours share it on social media!
We reward points to your customers or fans “buddees” that share the story based on the amount of people that check it out through them.
The top “buddees” earn a non-monetary reward, like complimentary tickets to your event, thus only attracting brand advocates and customers interested in your end product to endorse it on social media. Relevancy and authenticity is key–that’s why our rewards program is modeled exclusively to an experience with your brand!
How did you come up with the idea and turn it into a reality?
It’s really a concept I’ve believe in my whole life, I’m talking about reciprocity. Just like any social relationship, if you do something for somebody, they’re more likely to do something for you and as such you develop a mutually stronger relationship.
As a person with a passion for marketing, it only made sense to start applying that into my strategy, and it worked starting with event marketing about 10 years ago. From there, I took it into corporate and small business strategy, when it worked there, I knew I had something that I had to scale into it’s own platform.
The team is everything, my partners and I personally head-hunted a few individuals, one in particular, for up to a year to get them onboard.
Once you developed Brand Buddee, how did you create a buzz and market the “Brand Buddee” brand?
Whenever you launch a company, you’ll find that your immediate network is the most helpful and I’m thankful for that priceless support. Of that network, you’ll find your early adopters, customers, and partners that will help give your company traction.
Part of our marketing strategy was to offer our service, free of charge, to events in order to gain sponsorship and logo placement and awareness at many events including Seattle Fashion Week, Charity, Sporting, Nightlife, and Startup community events.
Lastly, we’re able to use brandbuddee to publish a story on brandbuddee, then reward our “buddees” to share it with their friends.
What types of companies have seen the most success so far with Brand Buddee?
We’ve seen companies large and small have success on brandbuddee.
A local food dynasty here in Seattle called Dick’s Drive Ins ran a story with us and it outperformed traditional media for generating social media buzz for their 59th Anniversary event.
Strong brands come with built-in brand affinity, thus they always do pretty well.
Oddly enough, some of the most obscure companies do the best on brandbuddee.com because people find new innovations and products to be interesting, thus increasing the likelihood that they’ll share it on social media.
So, if you’ve got a new product or service, brandbuddee might be a great way to get the word out, our buddees are waiting to discover and share your brand with others.
Where can people learn more about using Brand Buddee for their business?
I would be more than happy to personally talk to anybody that would like to get the word out about their business with brandbuddee, they can email me at [email protected]. Or, if they’d like, more information is listed online at http://brandbuddee.com/brands.
Talking to all of the startup and small business owners out there trying to get started, what advice do you have for them to bring their business to the next level?
The first and often most difficult thing for people to do is to get started.
This means getting out there and making a point of integrating your business idea into your daily routine, if you’re serious, it will soon become a major time investment for several years.
There are a lot of obstacles to jump over, but tackle everything one piece at a time, don’t just go out there and start pitching for investment.
Start by asking questions of people, see if your idea will generate interest from the people you expect to use it.
Then, try to test your assumptions with investing as little as possible–can you think of a shortcut to get a minimum viable product before dumping a lot of money into a project?
For me, I tested the theory as part of a daily marketing exercise with the clients I was already servicing for social media consulting. Set up as much as you can with your business, cross your t’s, and dot your i’s, then start seeking further resources to make your business a reality.
For instance, do you need a business partner with connections? An investor? A Technical Co-founder? Build a team and a collection of resources to make your idea a reality and much more.
Thanks To Andy and Brand Buddee!
I want to thank Andy for taking the time to talk with me and share this great information on how businesses and marketers can leverage social media for new and established businesses alike. If you are looking for a simple to use solution that can help expand your brand reach, check out Brand Buddee.