Innovative Tech Startups Find New Ways to Engage Customers

04/13/2016 02:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The art of building a strong brand image starts with the ability to connect with people, not necessarily customers (yet). That's why new startups have to do things: have an incredible product and make people want it.

And with tech startups a dime a dozen, it can be difficult to grab the attention of new customers in a crowded marketplace. But these innovative new tech startups have created ingenious ways to engage consumers. And getting people excited about using something is what keeps new startups alive.

Adding Fun and Excitement to Mobile Branding

On the surface, it's a keyboard application. Under the hood, Kibo is a powerful branding driver, putting brand identities front and center on an app utilized hundreds of times a day by smartphone users.

"People today are interacting through mobile phones, more than any other channel," explains Kibo CEO Oron Zell. "The conventional banner is not the right way to engage people on mobile, it's just not effective enough," he adds.

To address this gap, Kibo has built its technology around enabling brands and businesses to reach their audiences in a direct and targeted manner, with a full package of mobile engagement tools that users interact with on a daily basis, including stickers, wraps, emoji and the keyboard.

"In order to create real engagement, brands need native advertising, such as branded keyboards, branded emojis, content advertising, and other really effective engagement tools," says Zell. "That's exactly what we build for our many brand partners."

European soccer club Chelsea is a great example of how Kibo can improve brand loyalty. More than just a way to flash fan loyalties, Kibo also offers users a dedicated news feed and related content delivery. Engagement is on the high side, since the users themselves pick and choose the brand they want featured on their keyboard.

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A Real-Life Human to the Rescue

French startup iAdvize banks on a singular insight: online shoppers who get immediate, personal support when they ask for it can increase sales conversions for clients.

"When you're browsing products online and you have a question, you need an answer in real time," iAdvize CEO Julien Hervouet explains. "You're not going to find a contact page, send an email, then wait five hours for a reply."

The iAdvize client shows up as a chat bar at the bottom of the browser window: users who want real-time advice from live help staff can engage through iAdvize the platform using their choice of messaging solution - voice, chat, even video.

"We wanted to manage the whole customer journey in real time by messaging," Hervouet explains. "Messaging is about text and video but also about voice communication."

Instead of losing disgruntled site users, iAdvize clients can rescue prospects on the edge at the right time: automatically detecting visitors who need help and notifying support personnel, who can then get in touch in real time. Staff can even view the user's' screen and guide them through the process remotely. Finally, iAdvize can measure support staff performance in terms of online sales completed and reported customer satisfaction.

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Connecting Sellers and Media

Malaysian startup Involve Asia is only two years old, but over US$11 million in incremental gross retail sales over that short time leaves the company's founders with every reason to be optimistic.

Set up as a marketing platform provider, Involve Asia caters to online retailers hoping to distinguish themselves in a cluttered field. "Involve Asia connects merchants who sell online to media companies that have users who want to spend online," explains Jimmy How, Involve Asia CEO and cofounder. "By connecting these online retailers to the right target customers, we help them increase their customer base and sales while helping media companies earn revenue from e-commerce transactions."

Although Involve Asia can program shopping search engines with a powerful price comparison algorithm that provides always-relevant results to customers, what makes this startup standout is the affiliate programs for retailers across a hundred-strong network of major Southeast Asian media conglomerates. Involve Asia provides multiple bridges between retailers and profit, with more along the way. "For media companies, we are just scratching the surface of the potential from all the new solutions we are providing," explains Jimmy How.

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Unconventional Approach Equals Outstanding Success

Tech companies are always reaching for something new - something that will WOW customers. But these companies did something a little different. Instead of just coming up with a great product, they thought about how to involve customers in the product itself. Kibo connects users with their favorite sports teams in a new way, iAdvize gives shoppers a truly personal experience, and Involve Asia created a new pathway for the B2C industry.

Increasing engagement is one of the most important aspects of any business. It builds your brand and a strong customer base. So what new and innovative way can your business connect with people?