Bitongo Ltd. is a software App company that specializes in iPhone Apps. Their last release is “Soctics League: Online Multiplayer Pocket Football”, which is the example I am going to focus on for this review. They seem to follow the Lean Startup technique, by releasing an early product and perfecting it with customer feedback. The earliest versions were not bug free, but they provided great fun, and engaged the customers in providing active and constructive feedback.
Retention: In the App, they make it extremely easy to engage the user in the experience. You can even play online against the developers of the App(!) (first time I’ve seen that). There is also an Achievements List that keeps you motivated in getting better and rewards you with cool messages and new features; a key aspect that makes the users actively participate. Further more, the essence of the game is to compete in a League where you can represent your country or yourself individually. These two competition modes provide a sense of belonging and emotional attachment to some users.
On another note, the product sells by itself and it’s accompanied of value and good service. If you write feedback, an automatic message thanks you for it and you might even receive a response from a developer. In addition, the App became free for 24h as an strategy to achieve higher volume. The results speak loud with over a 900 reviews of 5 stars on the Apple Store. On their official website, the most visible and accessible buttons are for feedback as well.
The only two main negative aspects I have found on their retention strategy are: 1) The product does not provide a long term service option. When the initial fever goes off after a couple of weeks, pretty much all the options have been exhausted on the App. 2) There is no strategy to engage the user in a “privileged feeling” by making them premium members, joining a club, or anything similar.
Referral: I actually tried this first hand. A friend and I downloaded the App; in three days we were six friends playing; in four days we were nine. It went viral. Why? They make it so easy to invite friends to something that you want to play against your friends and laugh a lot. Word of mouth is probably the main channel of customer referral Bitongo benefits from. In addition, they have social media integrated even within the App, so you can invite your Facebook friends, and the results of your games get posted on your Facebook for even greater publicity. Another great source of referral is through their blog, and even better through the Apple store were they have really enthusiastic reviews.
As an already customer, I can say is that I am really satisfied, I continue to use the product, I have referred various friends, and I will probably buy the next Bitongo App as well. I would invest in these guys; they understand the business and are even easily accessible through LinkedIn.