Cheat Sheet: What We Can Learn From This Former No-Namer But Now Well-Loved Startup Food App

Cheat Sheet: What We Can Learn From This Former No-Namer But Now Well-Loved Startup Food App

Millennials aren't too keen on putting in a lot of hard work—one statement successful local restaurant reservations and discount platform Booky Manila proves otherwise, as it largely attributes its success to its young team. Like most of its over one million daily active users, 90% of the Booky team are proud millennials, making it easier for the app to grasp what its market wants and needs.

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“Most tech startups fail because they never achieve product-market fit. If your team is composed of genuine users of your product, you can significantly speed up your feedback loop, increasing the chances of success,” says Booky CEO Ben Wintle. While it wasn't an easy journey to the top for them, the millennial energy and passion, combined with well-thought out strategies, enabled them to quickly evolve from being an industry no-namer into one of the most loved food apps in the country. This, within two years from its launch.

Ben and his hardworking millennial team

There's so much every entrepreneur can learn from this fast-growing business, especially if your market is this growing chunk of the global population that has begun approaching their peak purchasing years. Read on for more business savvy from Ben and the Booky team:


1. Be the millennial's friend. In crafting materials for the millennial market, keep in mind this fact: Peers most influence millennials when it comes to decision-making. Booky ensures that all its marketing platforms including blog articles, newsletters, SMS blasts, and ad campaigns consistently share the voice of its target audience in a manner that is effective and relatable enough for it to be perceived as a friend. According to a study by BCG Perspectives, 59% of the millennial respondents list ‘friends’ as the primary influencers in their purchasing decisions.

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2. Get the millennial to co-create. Millennials today are no longer content consumers alone; they are empowered to be content creators themselves with every posted status, filtered photo, and so on. Users co-create Booky’s content by reporting restaurant news and sharing their photos, and they provide useful insight for improvement through the brand’s real-time customer service channels. Their investment of time and effort in this collaborative process effectively strengthens brand loyalty—giving Booky the opportunity to grow users into evangelists.

3. Think scientific. More than maintaining a consistent voice, Booky uses search trends and analytics both from the web and its mobile app to strategically determine content direction—influencing everything from blog titles to Facebook videos and more. It utilizes search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and remarketing to amplify its digital growth. By consistently tracking metrics like click-through rates and monthly volume searches and impressions, it is able to identify key factors that increase conversions in the form of user sign-ups and bookings.

4. Provide a solution. Booky’s staying power is generated mainly by its determination to provide the local market a tailor-fit solution: One that was available offline. Slow 3G coupled with millennials’ need for speed drove Booky to consistently optimize its unique selling proposition—eliminating user reliance on poor internet connection.

5. Partner up wisely. From a restaurant directory of over 16,000 in Metro Manila, 800 provide discounts and reservations via Booky. The company strategically selected these brands based on key factors such as searchability among the product’s target market. At the same time, Booky collaborates with global e-commerce and lifestyle brands like Lazada, Foodpanda, and Grab to create seasonal marketing campaigns. By choosing the right partners, it not only provides greater value to its users, but also maximizes the potential to generate leads from large partner audiences.

Ben acknowledges that there's still a long way to go and notes that "the greater goal is not to merely build a following but to instead develop and nurture a growing community—a process which entails constant effort and willingness to evolve with your target market." With his millennial team alongside him and their undying passion to provide the best service to Filipino foodies, we have no doubt their community will continue to get not just bigger, but stronger.


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