Beme: an education in product marketing

Beme, a new app from Casey Neistat and friends, launched today. The app's premise is to break the convention of sharing on social media, making it more real.

I’m not going to review the app, if you’re after that checkout Mike Isaac’s piece over at the New York Times.

What I’m focused on is the pre-launch activity, mostly by Casey, to generate intrigue in Beme. His approach sets the benchmark that those launching products/services should strive to emulate. Specifically, I’m referencing Casey’s daily YouTube vlog.

This isn’t Casey’s first dance, he’s a talented creative having had great success in film, advertising and YouTube before this endeavour. He’s used his skill in storytelling to give his new product the perfect platform for launch.

Casey himself confirmed in vlog 111 that the sole driver for his vlogs is to promote his new company. But this isn’t some annoying sales driven video series. You can see that he has pure intent in creating great content on a daily basis. Each is creatively shot and painstakingly edited. The editing process, Casey outlines, takes him anywhere between 4–6 hours a day. With 114 vlogs down Casey has spent around 600 hours alone just in Final Cut Pro to produce over 900 minutes of content!

The content, for the most part, is great, as you’d expect with Casey’s storytelling experience. As a new dad, I’ve picked up parenting tips watching his young daughter grow up. As a product developer and manager, I’ve watched with interest on how he works with his team as it too grows. And as a lover of NYC, I’ve got a kick out of seeing incredible time-lapse of the city on a daily basis. We’ve got to meet his UPS delivery guy Marlin (surely he has a web series on the cards soon), we’ve learnt about the dangers/insanity of hoverboards. And to top it off we all now have cravings to head to New London, Connecticut for some Lobster Rolls at Captain Scott!

Casey’s work at Beme has been mentioned fleetingly in the vlogs. It hasn’t taken much, maybe 30 seconds in one vlog, 10 seconds in another but over time he’s successfully humanised Beme. From team lunches, through to individual cameos we’ve been introduced to (from what I can gather) every member of the team. Beme certainly looks impressive (I’m dying for an invite code over here 😊) but even more so now that you know the faces behind it and that it’s not from some Facebook sized entity.

After 114 days Casey has built the perfect platform for launch through honest storytelling having accumulated over 830,000 YouTube subscribers, averaging 400,000 views of each video. He’s built a community with empathy all of which have headed straight to the App Store on day one! There’s a lot here to learn from his approach!

I’ll pen a follow-up piece soon with my comments on the reserving username and unlocking system Beme implements. Casey outlines this is to reinforce community. But it, like the vlog, is a powerful pre-launch activity to creating some serious demand.

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