Taskrabbit Growth Strategy – Marketing Hacks You Can Use
The online and mobile marketplace TaskRabbit was launched in 2008 in Boston as “RunMyErrand.”
It became TaskRabbit in 2010 to avoid perceived limitations in the word “errand” and to go with a name that was more memorable and fun. At the same time, the base of operations was changed to San Francisco.
TaskRabbit is a venue for outsourcing small neighborhood jobs to pre-approved “TaskRabbits” who compete for job listings that describe the required task and give an offered price or ask for bids. Dropping the word “errand” from the service’s name helped branding.
While users might hire someone to run to the grocery store for them, the job might also be assembling a shelving unit or organizing a closet. The more all-encompassing word “task” was chosen to open up user’s imagination about why and how they might utilize the service.
In May 2011, TaskRabbit secured $5 million in financing with 2,000 TaskRabbits proving the concept was workable. Over the course of a year, the service expanded into four more markets: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County and also launched a mobile app.
A second round of funding to the tune of $17.8 million in December 2011 allowed the company to focus on their product development, including incorporating a gamified approach. Top workers are ranked on a leader board that also displays their average customer reviews.
This kind of peer-to-peer sharing involves crafting a perception of trust so users are willing to do business with strangers. Each potential TaskRabbit is given a criminal background check and interviewed via video before they are approved.
The site design emphasizes this guarantee, “Find safe, reliable help in your neighborhood” from “20,000+ Background Checked TaskRabbits.” Sign-up is free and requires only an email address and a zip code, a dead simple method taken from the playbook of highly successful buy low-key sites like DropBox.
TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque advocates staying in constant update mode to make sure that users are always having the best possible experience with the product. Every two weeks the company tests its site design, user experience, and other features with A/B testing through Kissmetrics.
For instance, the company studies the effectiveness of photos versus illustrations on the front page and determined that photos result in twice as many sign-up.
There is a strong emphasis on the company’s culture to ensure that everyone hired reflects the quality of the brand. TaskRabbit values openness with a helpful, collaborative, and friendly approach.
This is even bolstered by a selection of offices with open floor plans and the inclusion of a recreation room to inject some fun in the work place.
The reasoning is that the idea of TaskRabbit, though useful, is also quirkily and fun. Staying focused on the brand and offering the highest level of user experience possible has allowed this startup to thrive even in the face of competition.