How to engage community to co-create a value proposition for them

Get recognized in the community, build brand and acquire earlyevangelists

Getting community together to ideate on possible solutions

Organize community event to get early feedback on your startup ideas, build your startup brand along the way.

While practicing customer development for my startup and I realize that the brainstorming sessions can help me to reach early evangelists. Whoever comes to participate will be more excited to try the prototypes that will follow after possible solutions are generated and few potential candidates are selected.

I have partnered up with one of the Johns Hopkins hospitals innovation hub to organize the session where the medical staff, as well as outside hospitals people — maternal advocates and moms — would come to ideate together.

I had few objectives in mind when I have decided to organize brainstorming sessions for pre-defined design challenge:

  • Get more earlyevangelists so I can test prototypes with them;

Recruitment is hard. I have realized that I needed to re-fill a pool of potential users on a regular basis, so I can run a continuous loop of testing

  • Get noticed by medical institutions to form a potential partnership;
  • Get more diverse ideas straight from the community

To streamline recruitment, I have expanded my marketing tools:

  • I have migrated my earlyevangelists list (20 people) into MailChimp
  • I have created a Facebook page and post the event there, and re-post the event in the relevant groups, that I have been a part of for a while. (I have got included in them at early stages of design when I have been running customer interviews)
  • I have used https://openideo.com/ to advertise Ideation sessions in the relevant open challenges

And as a result of the recruitment process and community event,

  • My maillist had expanded from 20 to 80 people
  • I have got contacted by 2 officials from different agencies: https://www.samhsa.gov/, http://safehealthcareforeverywoman.org/aim-program/. And they become my earlyevangelists as well
  • Hosted innovation hub was excited to have us and will keep us in the mind for future engagements
  • OpenIDEO had featured our initiative and had invited me to be in the expert panel to select the most promising ideas in the field
OpenIDEO had featured the initiative, followed by an invitation to the expert panel

And on the top of that, We have a blast with the community generating sometimes wild ideas on how to support new moms during the challenging postpartum period.


Read next post where I will share some of the wildest ideas we had from Ideation sessions and what happened after the dust of creativity had settled.

This is a post from series #productdesign where I practice product design and customer development.

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