Help I want to save a life

by Andy Howard on July 7, 2012

A simple and compelling idea can have an enormous impact. By making marrow registration a part of life, and integrating a consumer product, Help Remedies reached a huge, new audience and re-invented the way marrow registration is done. The campaign aimed to recruit thousands of new donors by making the process incredibly simple. Since launch, ‘Help I want to save a life’ has been seen by over 50 million people, Help’s bandage sales have increased by 1900% and the number of marrow donor registrations has tripled.

Powerful, life-saving work.

Salty Beards

by Andy Howard on June 20, 2012

Nick Rozsa is a surfer from Ventura, CA. Earlier this year I hadn’t heard of him; most people hadn’t. A rapid-fire collection of beautifully shot web clips blasted Nick onto the web over the past few months. His surfing’s incredible, his clips by buddy Chris Papaleo are outstanding, and the story is nicely packaged up at their Salty Beards website. Each time a new clip hits the web I’ve watched the global surfing media latch onto it, talk it up, and pump it out to their tribes. Nick’s made an amazing transition from relatively unknown to well-known across the globe – in an extremely competitive field – in a matter of months.

There’s a learning here, but what’s potentially more interesting is the direction Salty Beards has just taken. They’re on a “helping beards” mission and are producing a small run of clothing, with 10% dedicated to helping the homeless around Ventura. It’s not quite TOMS Shoes, but it’s a start, and maybe it’ll go far. They’re giving it a shot. It’s an endearing application of relatively instant fame and bolsters the future success of Salty Beards. But I’m sure they’re not thinking about it this much; they’re just great guys who want to do good things, and they’re giving their new-found tribe the chance to give back. I just watched their mission video (below) and ordered a tee immediately.

How can you give your tribe the opportunity to be part of a remarkable movement? is a marketplace for discovering design and a pioneer in social retailing. The site’s 4.5 million members spend about $400,000 in total on a typical day. Tweets predict next-day sales volumes. Customer analytics from RJMetrics reveals the ‘addicted’ behaviour of customers - of the 12 percent of members who made a first purchase, half returned within two weeks to make a second and one-third made a third purchase within 30 days. Customer segmentation and forecasting algorithms by Custora calculate over the next two years, a typical iPad customer will spend twice as much as a typical Web customer and the iPad cohort will generate more than 25 percent of’s revenue. eCommerce science applied to taste-making. Via NYTimes:

To create an audience before the shopping site even went live, the company bought ads on Facebook, inviting “influencers” who liked certain flash-sale sites, design magazines, design blogs or designers to join. But rather than simply calculating how much it cost to acquire each new member, Mr. Goldberg set about examining the ripple effects. After seeing an ad, he says, each person who joined typically invited three friends to join as well — resulting in one additional membership, on average.

“It was basically ‘Buy one, get one free,’ “ he says. “We were looking at the viral coefficient of the ad, so suddenly your costs went way down.”

By the time was up and running, it had signed up about 175,000 members. Of those, he says, 30,000 came from ads — at an acquisition cost of about $2.50 per member.

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