Love is a beautiful and wonderful feeling.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to find true love, which has paved the way for dating platforms like Tinder, Coffeemeetsbagel, and OkCupid. These days, it’s really one dating site, Bumble, that is getting all the attention.
News broke recently that Whitney Herd, the CEO of Bumble, had become a billionaire. This, however, was not the most exciting news; it was also announced that the Bumble platform is going public—great news for investors with an eye on viral dating platforms.
At the time of writing this post, the company had already raised $2.5 billion. More incredible still is the fact that investors have valued the company at $14 billion. Not bad for a company that did not even exist at the start of the 2010s.
In this post, I take a look at how Bumble became one of the fastest-growing dating platforms and a must-have in the stock market.
In the beginning…
In 2014, Whitney Wolfe Herd left Tinder, a company she helped start, after becoming a victim of sexual harassment. What she learned from this incident became the starting point for her new dating platform, Bumble.
Today, Bumble is a dating site that values real and committed relationships.
Its approach to creating a dating platform validates these principles. It offers a simple way to find someone who matches your personality, but it goes at this from a different angle compared to other dating sites, which I will dive into, later in this post.
The platform follows a freemium revenue model where users can access the core features of the platform for free and are required to subscribe to the platform to access more advanced features.
Since its launch, the company has added features focusing on businesses and social networking such as Bumble Bizz, which allows interactions between professionals, and Bumble BFF, which allows you to find and form genuine friendships.
All these features have lured in 100 million users from 150 different countries. From one million users in 2015 to 100 million in 2020, the rise of Bumble has been nothing short of meteoric.
As a marketer, I find Bumble quite fascinating as it activates my marketing “spidey senses” (kudos, if you get the reference).
What’s the buzz about Bumble?
Let me explain my statement about Bumble’s different approach to dating a little more.
In the modern world of business, what makes a product unique is what sells the product. This particular dating company found their unique selling point with plenty of elegance.
Being a subject of sexual harassment at Tinder, Whitney Herd identified that there is not much emphasis on women empowerment in the world. It prompted her to start Bumble, which was created to give women the power of initiating.
Most dating apps let either party start the conversation after a match. Bumble only allows women to start the conversation after matching.
Dating sites have been a hassle to navigate, especially for women. Bumble’s women-centric approach, makes it safer for women to use the platform. The platform also focuses on creating lasting relationships, not casual relationships. This, itself, creates a more positive image among users.
Adding to the uniqueness of the brand is their choice of brand colour. Bumble has designed its site and app around the colour yellow. Hence my title, “A study in yellow”.
This uniqueness has served the company well in its business. This has had a spillover effect on its marketing strategy.
Subtlety is the name of the game
Almost every company looks for opportunities to market itself. Bumble is not very different in this regard, but it’s really how it grabs this opportunity that makes the difference.
The company uses subtlety to make its mark felt in every possible opportunity.
If you follow US politics, for example, you might have heard about Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. Bumble identified an opportunity in this incident and placed a full-page ad in the New York Times that just said, believe women.
You would probably not even consider this an ad and only see it for what it appears to be; a feminist call to action. While most brands wear you out with their ads, Bumble uses subtlety to improve their brand persona.
The dating platform has used this technique to push its female empowerment message, consistently, making it a go-to dating portal for women.
Harnessing star power
Subtlety and star power do not always belong in the same category. Bumble, however, has found a way to balance both aspects.
What is more unique about this is that most celebrities do not endorse dating sites. That said, Bumble’s message about women empowerment has attracted many celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Serena Williams, and Kate Hudson to endorse the platform.
For example, look at the “#TheBallIsInHerCourt” campaign with Serena Williams. This simply told women that they make the move on Bumble. Subtle, but effective.
Mixing star power with subtlety has helped the company stay relevant without becoming a platform that begs for your attention.
Small stars matter too
In addition to recruiting A-listers, the platform also recruits ambassadors for campuses and cities through its micro-influencer marketing programme.
Micro-influencer marketing is not a new concept. Bumble differentiates itself from other companies by hiring only female students who are bright, talented and more importantly, independent, to serve as their ambassadors.
These ambassadors are called ‘Honeys’ and ‘Queen Bees’ and are given total creative control over how they market the brand. This network of ambassadors allows Bumble to stay relevant with their younger customer base.
Honeys are invited to get involved in creating organic social media content and social outreach programmes, which the company uses to engage its audience. Its Instagram page, for example, is a representation of the brand as a whole—everything from the colours to the posts resonate with the company’s values
Honeys and Queen Bees are even given free merch for themselves and some to be distributed across their campus or city. These tactics help keep the buzz going about Bumble.
Bumble also looks for new ways to spur female empowerment and stay relevant to its target audience. For example, the brand created an all-female Fortnite eSports team to increase female involvement in the competitive, professional gaming industry.
Experience is always a great form of advertising
The company is also very clever in the way it uses customer experience to create brand engagement.
Recently, the Bumble team took over a coffee shop as part of a marketing campaign, where it provided free food and coffee to participants. What’s clever about this is that the company used this event to market the new profile badge feature.
It is this unique way of handling marketing that set Bumble apart from its competitors,
Learn from Bumble to boost your company’s brand persona and sales
With its values rooted in giving women the power to initiate, Bumble is more than just a dating platform.
The company uses clever, but subtle marketing tactics to create a brand that is endearing and empowering to its core audience.
Take the lessons learned and incorporate them into your marketing strategy to enhance your brand persona and sales.