People love their dogs, love to share stories and pictures of their dogs, are passionate about finding great new products and activities for their dogs. Slobbr, pulls three passions – sharing, finding and purchasing - together into a commerce focused app designed to tackle the exploding mobile market of pet owners.
For nearly six years I have worked in the dog industry as the owner and operator of two Best of Boston Doggie Boutiques, Durty Harry's. A little over two years ago, I had a few customers who were loading up their cars and moving across country, and all had the same questions: where will I get my dog groomed? Who will walk my dog? Where can we stop or stay along the way that will accommodate my dog? It occurred to me that there was probably an app for that... However, when I started searching, I found a gap in the market. And it dawned on me - we need an app where all goods and services for dog lovers intersect.
Slobbr has been cultivated by a whip smart team of designers, developers, marketers, and dog industry professionals and enthusiasts. Together we will produce, distribute and market an iOS app merging dog community, area information and unique boutique-retail, designed for the millions of people who choose to "Live Life With Your Dog". The design of the app is complete, with the development about 12-14 weeks away from completion once funded.
We are raising funds to finance the completion of the app, as well as the marketing of Slobbr. We have partnered with a leading Boston app developer (Rocket Farm Studios) to manage and guide the development process. We will leverage the existing dog communities within Boston and build upon them with guerilla marketing tactics along with an explosive social media campaign.
“Instagram all started with a dog (as do most great things). The first Instagram was a puppy. If that doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about what works in our digital economy, I don’t know what does.” ~ Meredith Finemann, FastComapny
According to a recent eCommerce Quarterly white paper, mobile commerce "m-commerce" saw a 120% increase from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 a trend which is predicted to continue through 2015 and beyond. Projections for 2015 see m-commerce capturing nearly 25% of all e-commerce transactions with a progression of nearly 5% growth year over year. When you couple the seemingly recession-proof dog industry – (projected to close out 2014 at nearly $30 billion) - with the m-commerce and community aspect of the proud dog owner you can conclude that these dog owners will use their mobile devices to both stay connected to “their” dog community and to purchase products to meet their dog’s needs.
The dog market in the US is huge and continuously growing - it is estimated to grow to more than $30 billion this year. In that market, there are 72 million dog owners who spend an average of $190 on their dogs monthly, or $2000 annually. As rapidly as this market is growing, consumers are shifting their buying behaviors to mobile shopping.
At the beginning of 2013, 14% of dog owners had a Facebook page for their pet and 6% tweeted for their dog. Slobbr provides a fantastic platform so that dog lovers can share their thoughts directly with a like minded community of dog lovers. Slobbr’s first product is an iOS app that lets users post pictures and reviews of great finds: places, venues, products, or to simply share photos and stories about their dogs.
As the number of Slobbr users reach critical mass, accurate, up-to-the-minute searchable content will grow exponentially. This coupled with the robust geo-locator components of Google Maps the app will place every off-leash dog park, dog-friendly hotel, beach, pet boutique and more at the Slobbr community's fingertips. The organic nature of content lends itself to user contributions, and both the users and contributions will grow accordingly. Slobbr will allow new members to instantly "plug in" to the local canine community, and begin exploring with their fellow dog lovers and their dogs.
Slobbr will revolutionize the way you "Live Life With Your Dog!"
How We're Going to Spend the Contributions:
We have recently secured a $30,000 investment from a non-institutional investor. The more money we raise, the further we can develop the app. By raising $65,000 through Kickstarter, we will be able to accomplish the following:
* Develop the Slobbr iOS app V1.0 which will include the community portion of the app
* Introduce the app to market through an intensive social media marketing campaign
* Develop high-quality Slobbr t-shirts, bumper stickers and Slobbr bone plush dog toy
Any additional contributions will go towards the development of the geo-locator and retail aspects of Slobbr.
MEET THE TEAM:
I have a Bachelor of Science from Boston University in Public Relations and work as a Certified Veterinary Technician at one of Boston's best animal hospitals.
Almost six years ago, when I had a one dog household, I met Michelle during a rainy afternoon at a local dog park. Michelle had just recently opened her now Best of Boston doggie boutique in Charlestown, MA, Durty Harry's and invited me and my mud covered Dylan to come for a buff and puff. By the time I left the store, I knew I had found more than a dog wash, I had made a friend for life. Over time we bonded over our love of dogs (and Chinese food...), backgrounds in public relations, and desire to collaborate on something dog related.
Michelle and I have always had mutual respect for one another in the industry, but it was not until we co-founded a charity event called Rescue the Runway: Featuring Boston's Finest in August of 2014 that we realized we were amazing partners. Michelle shared her vision of Slobbr with me and I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. I am humbled to be a part of this new venture and know that as a dog lover, you will love the app, Slobbr, as much as we do.
This app is for all who choose to Live Life With Your Dog so please let us know if you have questions, comments, or concerns. We thank you in advance and look forward for having you join us on this new adventure.
Risks and challenges
Over the past two years we have learned the biggest challenge you face when going into a project you are so passionate about, is the overwhelming desire to do everything at once - and the reality that you can't.
Developing an app is one thing... Developing an app that wows through exceptional user experience is an entirely different entity. We found this out the hard way, and have come back stronger (and smarter) than ever and have made a strategic decision regarding our development partner, Rocket Farm Studios (RFS).
Slobbr has worked tirelessly with RFS to transform our vision into a scalable and robust multi-platform for all things dog. With RFS's deep technical expertise, we have mapped out the entire infrastructure to an astonishing app that is simple, useful and fun.
We have learned the end-user matters most, have considered their feedback, and will build a mobile experience centered around their identified needs and wants. We have built an army of nearly 2,000 "focus group" participants through our association with Durty Harry's. How many start-ups can say they've been cultivating their concept with the consumer for six years!? We intend to make adjustments as needed/requested and will update our contrributors of any changes or challenges we run into on the way.
The availability and accuracy of our data is an initial challenge. The information on Slobbr must be authentic, user-generated and reliable. The more users, the more data that is generated, which means a bigger network of "all things dog". We will tackle this challenge head on by using the resources at our fingertips by way of Durty Harry's and by rolling out locally, in Boston first, before expanding to top dog-friendly cities throughout the nation.
We have strong marketing, communications, retail, start-up backgrounds, which will be critical as we conquer this market and build a community of loyal followers.
We are ready and extremely excited to tackle this challenge and provide dog lovers a resource and community that enables and encourages people to "Live Life With Your Dog!"Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)