It’s hard out there for a Peach

Peach App - Popbox Digital
 

The highly fragmented messaging app space is loud, crowded and pushy. No place for a thin-skinned newbie, or is it?

Described as “Twitter meets a group messaging app” Peach is built for close friends and family with some quirky surprises. Think Path – infused with the spirit of Slack and a splash of Snapchat. Experienced leadership, UX innovation, and strategic WOM are some of the things that give Peach its juice.

Founded by Dom Hoffmann (co-founder of Vine), Peach launched to big buzz at CES 2016, then cleared the gauntlet of the “Tech Twitter” community barely bruised. Investors, entrepreneurs and journalists helped the app quickly attain top rankings in the App Store. Innovation around “magic words” and embrace of the Product Hunt community also drove downloads.

By typing the “magic words” draw, shout, gif or song, users can doodle, share what song they are listening to or post a gif to share how they are feeling.

New words like: here, goodmorning, goodnight, battery, weather, move, meetings, safari, dice, time, date, movie, tv, and game are being added – a critical element to keep the “magic” alive and a fairly frictionless approach to engagement.

Peach app - Popbox Digital

 

In February, Peach introduced gaming to the platform. Users can start a game of Peachball by typing the word “play” for five chances to get your peach in the basket. The most innovative gaming experience ever? No, but mildly entertaining enough and always just one word away. Never underestimate the power of proximity.

Assuming you’ll be able to soon play against your friends, this aspect of the platform has tremendous revenue potential following Asian messaging apps like LINE, Kakao, and others where the majority of high margin, recurring revenue is from games.

The on-boarding process for Peach is quick, simple and punctuated with a push to invite your three closest friends, a move likely to boost the viral co-efficient.

Increasingly a common Word-of-mouth metric, the viral coefficient is a quantitative measure of virality calculated as the average number of invitations sent by each existing user, multiplied by the conversion rate of invitations sent. A viral co-efficient greater than one sparks growth.

Peach has an advantage here, the closer you are to the people you invite, the more likely they are to sign-up. That said, one can estimate Peach’s viral coefficient to be approximately 2.099, assuming three close friends are invited per user (spouse, friend, sibling, parent, etc.) with a 70% likelihood of sign-up. Plausible, considering these are close friends and family only.

Following the trajectory of messaging app momentum, Peach is poised for significant growth given its rising profile which now includes Android and a web platform. Short term funding won’t likely be a problem, things get tougher a bit further out when apps like Slack, Messenger, iMessage, Peach and Telegram all start to feel the same.

If Peach keeps innovating and stays true to crafting a compelling UX, it has a real shot at becoming an industry leader, and not just another flambe in the pan.

 

Anthony Cospito is Managing Director of Popbox Digital 

Lyft customers are nicer than Uber customers, what’s brand got to do with it?

Every Lyft driver I rode with mentioned it, “Lyft customers are much nicer than Uber customers.” They’re not sure why, but the attitudes are miles apart.

Most also drive for Uber so they would know, and regardless of city they say the same thing. What then, does it say about the brands themselves?

The drivers I spoke with in the NYC area and Boston describe Uber customers as being rude, demanding, and full of complaints. Is it Uber’s infamous surge pricing practices that put customers on the defensive? If so, should Uber tell its customers to “Uber-have?”

Drivers said Uber customers make them feel “like a second class citizen”, saying they are “angry and bossy”, and often leave “a mess of food and drinks.” One driver even mentioned an Uber customer who brought a huge dog into her tiny car, while another started polishing her nails — fumes on high.

Lyft customers go the other way. Drivers say most are “extremely considerate” and “pleasant to deal with.” One driver said she feels safer when customers are happier, “when there’s no stress in the air, we lower our chance of an accident.” A recent tweet by a Lyft driver goes a bit further:

“I PICKED UP A PASSENGER AND WE GOT ALONG SO WELL WE ENDED UP GRABBING DINNER. I LOVE PEOPLE!”

But that’s the odd part, the service between Uber and Lyft is the same. Exactly the same. Same car, same driver. Same same. So why the difference in disposition?

Are Uber customers reflecting back on the brand they’ve come to know and be wary of? Mistrust has been known to put a damper on budding relationships. Perhaps it’s Lyft’s pink moustache of days gone by that inspires more smiles more than scowls. Or, maybe it’s how the brands approach new customers. The homepages of Uber and Lyft provided some direction.

Uber.com has rotating images at the top, most of which target new drivers — not riders. Lyft.com is all about the customer, and makes it easy to get a car with a dead simple form. Competitive brands like Gett are coming up fast with a solid product, growing market share and global ambitions.

In a sector where disruption is the norm, both Uber and Lyft need to keep their eyes on the road – and in the rear view mirror. Smart underdogs like Gett have a history of blowing past the status quo.

Bigger picture implications? Brands not 100% customer-obsessed (especially those in the competitive segment of transportation) should hit the brakes and get ready to make a u-turn.

Anthony Cospito is Managing Director of Popbox Digital 

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