How MVMT Watches can improve its current referral program to increase user acquisition.

Referral programs provide a practical and cost-effective method to drive user growth. I conducted a referral program audit with my favorite watch company, MVMT Watches, and uncovered key points in the purchase conversion funnel to implement referral strategies. Creating a referral program will allow MVMT Watches to encourage their customers to become brand ambassadors, AND it can be done practically with minor changes on their website and emails. Referrals can be amazingly effective at growing the client base and boosting profits.

MVMT (pronounced “movement”) Watches launched a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo and currently sells watches on their online store. They promise to deliver on 3 things:

· Minimalistic designs that can be worn in both casual and professional settings

· Watches made from high quality materials

· Priced at less than half of their competitors ranging from $95 to $135

With the buzz around their crowdfunding campaign gone, how do we help MVMT Watches increase sales and grow their customer base? I myself have bought two watches from them; one for myself and another for a friend. I have received many compliments from the look and simplicity of the watch.

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Photograph from MVMT, Classic White Tan Leather

MVMT’s Current Efforts

MVMT provides three methods for their customers to make referrals:

1. On their site with a referral page that is found only after clicking through to the [More] tab, followed by clicking a share button.

2. Email newsletters.

3. Promo codes given during social media contests.

I am going to break down each of these referral methods and where else is needed to make suggestions on how to improve their existing referral program.


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The domain referral link is found only after clicking through to the [More] tab, followed by clicking the share button in the drop down menu. I suggest moving the referral messaging to the homepage in a prominent location.

As a new user, the messaging might be confusing as I read it as “Friends don’t let friends #jointhemvmt”. I think this plays well on social media where their target users are often trend setters and younger adults but without being involved and simply a customer, the message might be lost. The value prop is nice (is there a cap on the rewards earned?) but perhaps as I have already purchased a watch, another type of incentive might catch my eye such as “access to special event, design your own watch face, early access to new release”. For many e-commerce sites, getting your existing customers to make a repeat purchase is difficult if the product isn’t a necessity but if I feel emotionally involved, the barrier is lower.

Entering your email gives us the option below:

The copy at the top of the referral page can be tested to find the phrasing that leads to the highest amount of conversions.

Phrases to test:

· #jointhemvmt with your friends and get 10% off

· Share the love of MVMT

· Help your friend dress better etc.

The email fmvmt 4orm is well written and includes a contact importer widget that makes it easier for MVMT to gather additional contact information from users’ network of people. A message mentioning that the user’s data is safe would help users feel more at ease about entering their private information.

Upon entering my own emailmvmt 5 (not sure why I need to enter mine to refer a friend), I have to click on the pop up to get the link. Why not have the link be ready for me to simply copy and paste? Also to note, the link refers to talkable which is probably the service they use for referral but may look like a spam link to users.

Overall I think it’s a great sharing widget which providesan ability to quickly share. It looks good and very easy to use. My recommendation is placing this option either on the page where returning users would come such as the “wall” page where users can post photos of their watches, after users have made their purchase or possibly in a ‘Thank You & join the MVMT’ page.

Refer Page:

mvmt 6

This page seems unfinished, unpolished, and the promo code did not work during checkout. If this is an expired code, MVMT should take down this page and remove it from their site map. I do like the idea of having a Refer Thank You page. Perhaps combining this page with clips or testimonials taken from their customers or reviews from their social media page would make this page more relevant.


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These are the email messages I’ve received from MVMT watches. The #jointhemvmt does not appear in my email newsletter. I also attempted to make a purchase with savings using the promo code provided; however, I did not receive savings off my order (could just be a timed promotion).

The email on the left is well written, and they are using an incentive to get me to refer my friends in the form of a contest. Although the email on the right contains a great graphic, however it does not truly convince me to shop even with the discount. I would test using other graphics because the background image reminds me of the outdoors while the watch is aimed toward a more dressy kind of look; two distinct look in a sense.

The timing of MVMT’s newsletters are on point, often arriving for Holidays and special events, albeit at times, too frequent (but that may have been due to the recent Holidays of Thanksgiving and Black Friday).

Referral from my Account:

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This is a very clean and easy page to read. However there is no option to refer a friend when logging into my account. This is surprising as I was able to create a personalized referral link previously. We are also missing a way for clients to monitor and track their own referral link and see how far it was traveled through the world of the internet.

Underneath my account details is an area used to show social proof, with quotes from authoritative sites. This tactic is often used in the homepage to convert visitors into paying customers. However, this is precious real estate(and I have already converted) that can be used for referrals and other promotions.

New User:

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Right after creating a new account, I received an email asking me to refer MVMT watches to friends. I do like the welcoming message but this is bad timing of an referral ask, as I have not yet made a purchase and thus not yet convinced of the value of product and their service. I would advise to instill a message to convert me into a paying customers before asking to send their site to my friends.

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When clicking on the link provided in the email, we are taken to the scoreboard above. It gives users a way to track their progress on referrals and social sharing. It looks great and gives the user, an easy way to share with the social links. However, on the account that I used to purchase a watch, this page was nowhere to be found. I could not find links to reach this page that is appropriate for paying customers. I recommend placing this widget on prior customers who have made purchases as they are the ones who most likely, are comfortable sharing a product they found value in.

This advertisement on social media appears spammy. Many people may be unaware of what MVMT or talkable are. The picture is appropriate for the theme of the site, but it is not very compelling. A colleague had trouble where this widget didn’t appear when pasting the link on Facebook.


MVMT is on the right path to creating an effective referral program. Some changes they can make to improve the program are to refine the messages, ensure existing customers are given a convenient way of referring the site via different channels, and to present the referral requests at an appropriate time in the user flow or shopping season. They need to create a referral copy that is compelling enough to entice users to share MVMT with their network of people.

Sharing via Facebook.

This article originally appeared on Medium.

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What I learned about the Bay Area startup scene 3 years later

I remember the excitement I felt when I left to Hong Kong in the summer of 2012. It would be the start of a new journey away from the failure of my previous startup. It would be a rebirth. The startup scene in the Bay Area in 2012 was more spread out with plenty of space like Hacker Dojo flourishing and many events around the South Bay.

It became too much. It felt very much like the thrill of trying speed dating for the first few times. Excitement, something new and plenty of opportunities seemed to lie in wait. However it soon became dull and tiring. People’s overly optimistic attitude felt unreal, almost like being in a rave party all this time. Hong Kong would give me a break and let my mind calm down I thought at the time.

Now that I’ve been back for several months, I feel like an outsider, almost outdated. Discovering the new “spots” and seeing that the whole startup scene sort of shifted north to San Francisco. Most young startups move there and fewer smaller startups in South Bay. This has created an influx of work force which has driven up prices and rents to staggering levels.

I asked a friend who works in the city of why this sudden shift and why some companies do not move down for cheaper office rent.

“There is mainly 2 reasons.

1. Most talent is found here in the city. If you move out, you’ll have fewer access and/or worst talent pool. Everyone in the world wants to come to city and thats where you find some of the brightest people.

2. The ecosystem is here. The chance of networking with other people and companies is too beneficial. Unless all the companies move south, you’ll be the only one and it will be like living on an island by yourself (if you do move south).

No one wants to be the first to make the jump to the island.

Also to save 30-40% on rent… Is it really worth it? We pay 10k in rent right now. If we found something south SF for 2k then sure! That’s enough saving for another hire. But to save 3k, it’s not worth it especially with VC money coming in so much”

Makes sense to me. I love San Francisco and its where individuality is accepted.

Another change I’ve notice is the attitude of founders. Founders nowadays seem to have big egos and many I’ve talked to very briefly at meetups seem to have a stick stuck up their ass. When you talk to them, it doesn’t feel genuine like they always have a sales mask on. I guess few more beers would help them to get rid of it but that seems like too much work. One founder even asked me to impress him. I’m suppose to impress you? Why don’t you impress me with your product? I have a lot more experience than you and I have yet to see something impressive from a kid like you.

However there are more startups than ever before and some offer very cool services such as one of my favorite Luxe, which offers on-demand (another word thats too used now) valet parking in the city. If you happen to sign up, use my referral code and we both get $20 bucks; JM1. Seems to be that there is a on-demand service for everything (moving, deliveries, house cleaning, gym equipment etc…) as we move into an on-demand economy.

Side note: On-demand services aren’t new in Hong Kong. People call instead of using apps but you can literally get anyone to do anything for you like moving, groceries, laundry etc…

Ill update back after I’ve settle in for a bit more but so far, I’m enjoying myself back in the Bay Area. The weather has been great and I’m getting a nice tan. Maybe someone will create an on-demand tan service…


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Venturing into Real Estate Photography with

Living in the Bay Area with one of the highest housing markets in the world, I’ve decided to try out a new type of photography; real estate photography. Photography has always been a passion and one of my competitive advantage and thus made sense to try out something I like but in a different field.

Initially I thought how hard could this be? Its not like a wedding where there bunch of people moving around and you stand on your feet all day. But I was wrong, there is a learning curve such as learning to shoot a 3D space instead of individuals where shadows create a person’s look. Instead, the absence of contrasty shadows is often required to highlight the room itself. I thus took time to learn all about the techniques of HDR, interior photography and the real estate listing process. I’ve set out to make my MVP, and acquired a new lens, the Canon 17-40mm F/4 L.

I’ve attempted a few shoots and so far, I like it. It definitively does not have the stress levels of weddings but one doesn’t earn nearly as much per jobs.

I want to try this out further, my initial capital investment isn’t much and the photography knowledge is reusable in the future. Please send me any tips/points and refer me to your real estate agents 🙂

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