How To Market To Women Without Losing Men
Whenever TaskRabbit got press, lots of young, professional men signed up. But regular users of the site--which connects members with people willing to do their chores for a small fee--were women. So Leah Busque has been revamping the site to strike a balance: Cater to women but continue to court men.
To make the service feel less abstract and more trustworthy, women needed to see photos of actual job-doers. When photos were posted, sign-ups doubled almost immediately.
The Post-it Notes stressed out women who were already stretched thin. "We realized we were basically yelling in people's faces--you have laundry to do!" Busque says. "So we made it more serene."
The site added flourished handwriting to appeal to women, but surveys found it turned off guys. "We skewed too fun and fluffy," she says. "We quickly pulled back."
The switch from dark cork to light sunburst aimed to communicate hope and optimism. It was an emotional cue for women, Busque says, but not so directed that it would turn off men.
Graduates from Sweet Briar College
Starts work as software engineer at IBM
Marries Kevin Busque
Conceives RunMyErrand, the first concept for TaskRabbit
Leaves IBM to focus on TaskRabbit full time
Accepted into Facebook's incubator program, fbFund
Raises first round of seed funding for RunMyErrand
Rebrands RunMyErrand as TaskRabbit
Raises $5 million in Series A funding round
TaskRabbit launches iPhone app
Raises $17.8 million in Series B funding round
A version of this article appears in the June 2012 issue of Fast Company.