Tuesday, January 18, 2011

[The Insider] 6 Wunderkinder

A new star appeared on the startups sky above Berlin. And it came with a bang. 6 Wunderkinder published their first to do list application wunderlist in November 2010 not even two months after they have been founded. It runs straight the top in major tech blogs, magazines and goes wild on Twitter.

Luckily the place we work is literally across the street of their offices. So we poked them on Twitter and arranged a meeting with “the marketing guy” Robert Kock to talk about this boost start and the role social media plays in this company.

And this role is a big one. It is the main core of the communication concept of 6 Wunderkinder: openness and transparency, honesty and bi-directional communication. So even before they published the first app, they set some simple ground rules for all of their communication on Twitter and Facebook Page:
  1. be aware of what is happening
  2. don’t leave any message unanswered (whether it is someone, who needs support through Twitter or someone who just wants to tell the world that he loves the app. Make sure they understood that you received their feedback)
  3. every (official) tweet and post gets reviewed by a coworker to assure the quality and the tone
But beside the “official” accounts the team also decided on some ground rules for the way to post in social networks personally. Of course everyone is free to post whatever he likes but he/she should be aware that the appearance in social networks is the main aspect of 6 Wunderkinders publicity. So before posting one should always rethink if this might reflect bad on the image of the brand. And maybe keep drunk party pictures to a minimum. But as the employees are friends themselves they see what others are posting and act as a personal corrective afterwards, too.

Their serious use of social media is the most important reason for their quick success: Blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook allows them to tell others what they believe in. And with publishing their first app for free under open source conditions (on github) they did more than just give back to community, they made a mission statement: We create high quality productivity software with great usability and a design, that totally rocks.

The message more and more caught on. There was no “classic” marketing, no banners or  TV commercials not event AdWords. There was just a clear mission statement, a great product, open communication and word of mouth. And it caught on, people like their product and the way, they work. They start spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and in real life. And before you even realised they are mentioned in a mayor german software magazin, important news networks and even on mashable. All just fueling the fire. The iPhone App doing its part, too.

And even though they don’t do any money with this application, it is a total win for them. A bunch of people no one had heard before, pulled off a great product and are able to shake the hard fought market of productivity software. Only within month they produced a great community and got unbelievable feedback: from support requests and bug reports up to pure endorsements. And especially the later is a big motivation booster. But their biggest win is the community itself: all them already know the name 6 Wunderkinder and especially their upcoming project “Wunderkit”.

Robert couldn’t tell us either, what it is about. He just mentioned there would be quite some concepts in the world of productivity software which “just haven’t seen through yet”. Also, the design will kick ass. We are excited, actually can’t wait for that tool and see what other things these 6 Wunderkinder pull out of their sleeves. Robert already promised us a follow up article, until then follow their Twitter and Facebook Page for more updates.

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