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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Clevelanders to Launch Customer Collaboration App

Posted By on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 10:03 AM

Ever dream of being a fashion designer? Clevelanders Chris Boles, 43, and Jared Pryor, 30, are launching a software program called Rabblester that will allow the customer to have greater influence on a brand’s products. 

Boles said, “Rabblester allows brands to collaborate with their customers instantly. With our application, marketing professionals can get their customer’s feedback, recommendations and validation before introducing a new product to consumers or launching a costly advertising campaign in the marketplace.”

The advantage of Rabblester over other marketing and customer research services is the level of collaboration it offers. The sharing of concepts, designs, written documents and visual prototypes in one workspace that is directly shared with customers is something that cannot be done through CRM, email, or social media.

The idea struck Boles when his niece was visiting. She asked if he liked the dress someone on television was wearing, which lead him to the idea of creating a public platform for goods that are usually created in private.

One year later, Boles has left his previous position as an administrative officer for a real estate development firm to run the business full-time. His part-time partner, Pryor, is living in Pittsburgh.

The company is still in the fundraising process. It was recently awarded $25,000 by Lorain County Community College’s Innovation Fund. A prototype will debut in September and a full launch is expected in January 2016.

To aspiring entrepreneurs, Boles advised, “Get in the field, talk to customers to make sure there is a market first.”

This is a step that allowed the concept of Rabblester to be validated—identifying that it had real potential for use. The Youngstown Business Incubator then accepted the idea and was able to assist in its development.

“Without (nine months of) customer conversations and market research, I think the level of risk and the concern or worry about starting-up a new company, particularly without a safety net, would be much higher.”

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