Croking gives users a voice

A two-month old start-up is giving users a voice to get brands to listen to them, take notice and respond. By Nafisa Akabor.

Twin brothers XX

Twin brothers Josh and Dylan Meadon

South African-led start-up Croking hopes user-generated ideas from its social community about brands will get companies to sit up and take notice once these ideas, known as “crokes”, become valuable within the community.

They become of value once they gain traction through engagement — upvotes, downvotes, comments and shares on other social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Dylan Meadon, head of user experience and marketing for Croking, says the more valuable a user’s contributions are, the more valuable they become to the brand — directly affecting their own “influence score”.

Brands then have the ability to respond to a croke, and in doing so engage with all users subscribed to that particular croke. “Once a brand has responded, users then have the opportunity to rate the brand’s response.”

Croking was launched on 5 August (in beta), but the idea was set in motion two years ago while co-CEOs Joshua Meadon and Daniel Brunnett were having drinks at a beer garden in Brunnett’s hometown, Speyer, in Germany.

Joshua Meadon says: “We had taken a liking to one brand of beer in particular. It soon dawned on us that the brewery, in all likelihood, would never hear our thoughts and ideas about their beer as no single channel exists to quickly and transparently voice our opinions.”

After doing research, the pair realised that feedback was “a boring term” for consumers, and businesses were “struggling to make better use of social media”.

“We teamed up with three others to create a digital platform that would be highly consumer centric, yet still beneficial to businesses,” says Joshua.

The Croking team is made up of five South African and German friends — co-CEO and operations head Joshua Meadon; co-CEO and business development head Brunnett; chief technology officer Reto Stuber; Dylan Meadon; and strategy and investor relations head David von der Leyen.

Twin brothers Joshua and Dylan Meadon, both 26, grew up in Pretoria and spent two years in the UK after completing high school. On their return to South Africa, Dylan pursued an information systems degree at the University of Pretoria, while Joshua left for Germany to study business administration and informatics.

The company is self-funded by all five co-founders and there are talks with investors about seed funding for 2014, with nothing signed off yet.

Dylan says the company wanted early adopters and thought leaders to make use of the service first, so the company has targeted specific technology and industry blogs. “Croking has also been endorsed by the World Fair Trade Organisation because of the transparency it brings to the consumer world.”

Plans for 2014 include extending Croking further into other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and through mobile, where it’s working on an Android app. Its aim is to offer businesses “low-learning-curve” tools to engage with their customers, and to get public relations firms to use it as a service for their clients.

Eventually, it intends charging brands for extensive consumer insights and analytics. “We are currently preparing add-on tools accessible to brands that want to increase consumer engagement and streamline their brand experience strategy, and we intend to charge for these tools,” says Dylan.  — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share this article

  • Traveller

    On a tech site if you plan to write about a startup atleast have a link to their website.

Why TechCentral?

We know that as a prospective advertiser, you are spoilt for choice. Our job is to demonstrate why TechCentral delivers the best return for your advertising spend.

TechCentral is South Africa’s online technology news leader. We don’t say that lightly. We believe we produce the country’s best and most insightful online tech news aimed at industry professionals and those interested in the fast-changing world of technology.

We provide news, reviews and comment, without fear or favour, that is of direct relevance to our fast-expanding audience. Proportionately, we provide the largest local audience of all technology-focused online publishers.

We do not constantly regurgitate press releases to draw in search engine traffic — we believe websites that do so are doing their readers and advertisers a disservice. Nor do we sell “editorial features”, offer advertising “press offices” or rely on online bulletin-board forums of questionable value to advertisers to bolster our traffic.

TechCentral, which is edited and written by award-winning South African journalists, cares about delivering top-quality content to draw in the business and consumer readers that are of most interest to technology advertisers.

We’d like the opportunity to demonstrate the value of directing a portion of your advertising budget to TechCentral, whether your company is in the technology field or not. Numerous opportunities exist for companies interested in reaching our audience of key decision-makers in South Africa’s dynamic information and communications technology sector. We offer packages that will deliver among the best returns on investment available in the online technology news space.

For more information about advertising opportunities, and how your organisation can benefit by publicising itself on TechCentral, please call us on 011-792-0449 during office hours. Or send us an e-mail and ask for our latest rate card and brochure.