Kidizen: Social E-Commerce for Moms

Kidizen is a mobile marketplace for parents to buy and sell pre-loved kid stuff. It is community driven with a social aspect that really allows buyers and sellers to connect. The site caters to customers looking for anything from a vintage look to a bargain on a high-end dress. Ultimately the treasure hunt for a great deal on a unique item becomes part of the fun.

Founders have a strong background

The founders of Kidizen come from an agency background, with a focus on retail advertising and brand building. They worked with large retailers with moms as their audience. As a result, they spent years exploring what drives moms and their consumer behaviors. This background has helped them grow the company as they have such a good grasp on their audience’s interests and pain points.

They have social media influence

Kidizen has established quite a substantial audience on social media. They boast 1,000+ Twitter followers, 67,000+ Facebook likes and 7,000+ Instagram followers on their corporate pages. They focus on a lot of engaging content (especially …

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How Can Instagram Help a New Business?


Instagram can also be used as an online marketing tool to develop your business. What makes it unique is that pictures can be shared easily and it is mobile-friendly too.

These are some the ways it can be helpful

        It draws followers to window-shop         You can get new business contacts         It can help increase sales         You can keep in touch with your customers         You can connect at a much more personal level

Graphic courtesy idigic.



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KoalaSafe: A Startup Focused on Easier Parenting

Who doesn’t want to make parenting a little easier? KoalaSafe is a tool for managing a child’s time spent online. The company was founded in August 2015 with a Kickstarter campaign. Adam Mills explains that he and his co-founder discovered a “real problem” and wanted to provide a “real solution.” The product itself is a box with a dedicated WiFi network for kids. Parents are then able to view analytics based on their child’s online behavior.

Getting started with social

KoalaSafe has attained influence on social media, with hundreds of likes and follows on their corporate Facebook and Twitter pages. They have also recently started a Pinterest page to generate more influence. Social media accounts are helping them develop and maintain a core community, though these efforts do not necessarily directly translate into sales. They are, as we say here at Red Cup, a “soft target” – contributing to the overall success of deploying your message, but not always measurable with hard numbers.

The beauty of Amazon

As it turns out, …

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From Getty to Keepy: Building a Successful New Startup After Being Acquired

Getty Images acquired his startup PicScout in 2011. Now Offir Gutelzon is pushing forward with his family focused app Keepy. Gutelzon founded Keepy in 2013 as an app for parents to save their kids’ artwork, schoolwork and mementos. It is built as a multi-generational platform that connects grandparents, parents, and children. It has risen in popularity because it helps reduce the clutter of children’s artwork and also increases communication between family members.

Identifying a need that’s close to home

Gutelzon moved from Israel to New York City to work at Getty Images for almost 2 years. Being far from his family was a big change, as he was used to seeing them at least every other week. Suddenly he was in a place like New York where many others were also away from their families. This gave him the idea to create an app that would help improve communication within his family.

Social media sometimes isn’t that social

When you share content related to your kids on social media, the response is entirely focused on you. Interaction from close family …

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Climbing the Mountain of Social Commerce with Moja Gear

Moja Gear is an innovative startup based in San Luis Obispo, CA that organically mixes both social and retail services online. They have built a community-powered hub that caters to climbing enthusiasts. includes new articles and featured products every day, including a variety of content submitted by the climbing community. We like them because they are setting an excellent example of how to build a community around a startup.

Other social channels like Instagram and Tumblr might work best

Moja Gear’s most successful social media platforms are Instagram and Tumblr. Content and community drive their Instagram activity. Check out their feed: @MojaGear. Users are able to submit photos to be featured on the Moja Gear page using a special hashtag. If you search their hashtag #ClimbMoja you will notice it has over 7,700 posts. Encouraging this sort of participation from their followers has proven successful in producing follows, likes and general traffic. Tumblr has also been effective as a marketing tool, especially because there are so few businesses on the platform. As a result, Moja …

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Breaking the Mold with Green Cleaning Products, Case Study: Green Way Labs

Green Way Laboratories is a Long Beach, California based startup that has distinguished itself by producing a line of high-performance green cleaning solutions. Their patented cleaning product is renewable, plant based, and effective for both industrial and consumer use. CEO and Co-Founder Ted Cote shared an excellent tag-line exclaiming, “You have a product that will clean off roofing mastic, yet it’s safe enough to also clean your baby’s crib.” They completed the 500 Startups program and are currently working with the LA CleanTech incubator. We like them because they are successfully applying startup strategies despite having a more traditional product.

It’s not necessary to fit the typical startup mold

Startups come in many shapes and sizes. Green Way is a product company as opposed to an app or online platform. Its uniqueness has allowed Green Way to stand out in the startup scene and develop strong cross-industry ties with cleaning services and distributors. However, this also means that they are facing some different obstacles than most. For instance, production cost per unit as well as storage costs are …

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The Importance of Targeted Marketing: HotelEngine Case Study

Based out of Denver, HotelEngine has launched an exclusive hotel booking service focused on helping save time and offering discounted rates. It offers its services for free and is especially appealing to small to medium businesses that do not get the same business travel savings as many large corporations that book in bulk. We like them because not only do they provide a valuable service, they are also doing an excellent job of marketing as a small startup in an extremely competitive market. Check out their website here:

As HotelEngine’s Brian Gerbetz said in our interview, “The proof is in the pudding.” Most customers who try the service enjoy it and find it useful. Getting potential customers to try the platform can be quite a challenge, especially as a lesser known startup. How do they move forward?

They know what’s not for them

HotelEngine’s social influence is important, but it is not as essential as it might be for a standard B2C (Business-to-Consumer) organization. They also find it hard to cost effectively compete for …

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Moving Forward with Early Success as a Startup: Case Study

We like DatingFound because they resonate well with our strategies as a modern agency. They follow many of the principles outlined in our audiobook of Be More Popular.

The key to early success as a startup is often as simple as offering a useful service to a clearly defined target audience. Though it is launching into a dense market of online dating companies, up and coming startup DatingFound has an effective service with a well-focused niche. I recently spoke with Karan Dhanju, the company’s Co-CEO.

Red Cup Agency: Have you defined the problem you would like to solve? Karan: “Online dating can be far too time consuming and high quantity does not often translate to high quality. They will match you with someone who has a similar hobby for example, but there are so many other variables that they don’t have the ability to track. Our initial algorithm will sort potential matches, but the final matching decision comes down to real dating experts with years of experience… Customers are choosing us because of …

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Developing Your Long Term Media Strategy

I have always been a fan of quick hacks and tricks that can get me moving faster. Ultimately what you truly want is loyalty, and hacks often will not help you achieve that over the long term. The only solution is to develop and sustain your media presence over a long period of time.

As mentioned in a previous post: strong writers should consider blogging, just as effective talkers should consider a podcast. “You must figure out the smoothest way for your company to continuously create media of the long term,” as Lee Schneider put it in his Amazon bestseller Be More Popular: Culture Building for Startups.  Perhaps your startup is in phase two. You’ve launched, gotten some users, and you are ready to roll out a few new social channels. How do you refine your process so it is sustainable and effective?

Building communities online is about being specific, really specific. You have to start small, with a community of committed fans and users and grow from there. In other words, you must become popular with only …

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