January 11, 2016
Category: App Development
The start of the new year tends to be filled with resolutions, and perhaps one of yours is to build that app you’ve been contemplating for so long. App development has exploded over the past several years, so if you have a great idea, it is tempting to rush headlong into a project. Before diving into the technical details, though, we encourage you to spend time clearly defining the opportunity, and reflecting it against existing solutions. This is necessary whether your target user is an internal team or a consumer external to your company. It’s even true for gaming apps, as differentiation is always valuable.
December 2, 2014
Category: InspiringApps News, IA Team
Michele recently joined InspiringApps as our Marketing Director. She comes with a wealth of experience in marketing, especially for the active and outdoor markets, due to her 15 plus years working for the GORE-TEX brand.
Michele grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she spent her days running around the neighborhood, meeting friends at the pool, and playing kickball in the streets. Some of her favorite childhood memories stem from camping in the gorgeous hills of central Pennsylvania.
Although she attended a high school with a strong STEM emphasis, an interest in broadcast cable led Michele to begin her college years as a Communications student at Penn State University. She soon realized, though, that she missed being more technically focused. She switched gears to engineering, and graduated with high honors in Mechanical Engineering in 1993, confident she’d still be able to use her communication skills along the way.
After college, Michele accepted a position at W.L. Gore & Associates, a company known for its unique corporate structure and innovative products. She worked in product and technology development for a number of years, then moved to product management, and finally landed in the marketing world. Michele jokes that joining the marketing group was likened to “going to the dark side” since she was no longer involved with product technology or development. But the dark side was kind to Michele. In a recent 3-year period, she achieved strong GORE-TEX® brand presence online and doubled the number of sites telling their brand story.
Michele has always loved the business side of things. She enjoys watching the lights go on as potential customers realize why a product is worth their money. At InspiringApps, she is excited for the opportunity to spread the word about what we do well, helping us to grow into new market areas. We are thankful for her dark-side experience!
Outside of work, Michele loves to help create community, often over a shared meal or a glass of wine! She is grateful to live near world-class mountains, and getting to hike, camp and ski in them is a fabulous treat – especially if friends or family are involved too. Michele and her husband are raising four kids, so many weekends involve sporting events, Girl Scout activities, or other kid-centric fun. “It’s a full life,” Michele states, “but I am very grateful for it.”
September 24, 2014
Category: InspiringApps News, Client Projects
Apex Ski Boots, a Boulder-based company, is revolutionizing the ski boot industry. Their products, targeted toward intermediate and advanced skiers, have grown popular in the few years they’ve been available. Apex customers love their boots – which have a soft inner boot that fits into a rigid outer chassis similar to snowboard boots – and they love telling other skiers about them.
With such a loyal and supportive customer base, Apex came to us looking to break into the mobile market. We worked with them to create Apex Inside Edge, a cross-platform mobile marketing app. Inside Edge helps Apex develop word of mouth and reach potential customers in existing and new sales channels. By delivering interesting, engaging content, Inside Edge gives Apex’s loyal customers a way to become brand ambassadors who refer fellow ski enthusiasts to Apex products.
To motivate brand ambassadors, users earn points with each referral, which they’re able to exchange for branded merchandise. Ambassadors and potential customers can explore Apex’s product offerings with the Product Showroom feature complete with photos, videos and product details. If a user wants more information about Apex products, they enter their contact information, and the app will send them a text message with more instructions. Requiring a limited amount of contact information makes the referral process easy so users can quickly get back on the slopes.
We were excited to work with such an innovative local company to give users an opportunity to share their passion for Apex boots. We’ve expanded our cross-platform portfolio with Inside Edge, ensuring Apex’s ambassadors can spread the word, regardless of whether they’re on iOS or Android. Implementing the rewards program and the technology behind the referral texts were exciting challenges for us to meet, and we’re looking forward to seeing how Apex fans share their love for the products with other skiers.
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