Meredith Stevens is the VP of Digital Design at Miss Bongo. She grew up in Australia and has a strong background in the digital arts. Her degree in graphic design taught her how to create compelling digital content for her customers. Within her company, she manages a team of dedicated graphics and digital art professionals.
Miss Bongo is an SMS texting service that provides its users with an interactive mobile experience. It is available in France, Australia, and the UK, among other countries. When the customer writes a text to the service, he or she receives a collectible “perso” digital sticker and an intriguing message with details from his or her life. Users enjoy comparing their stickers with their friends, and they are amazed by the information Miss Bongo has about their lives.
Meredith Stevens is fluent in many languages, including French, Spanish, German, and Italian. This helps her to communicate directly with clients and customers around the world. She currently divides her time between Santa Monica, California and Bondi Beach, Australia.
Her love of travel inspires her in her work and personal life. In addition to her passion for travel and experiencing different parts of the world, Meredith Stevens is deeply interested in art and literature.
While Miss Bongo built its reputation and customer base, there were difficult times, but Meredith Stevens persisted and came out on top. She wants to share her business wisdom with readers and help them to achieve success in their own lives.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
My colleagues and I were inspired to start this business when we realized the amazing potential of premium SMS texting. When we came up with the idea for the Miss Bongo prix, we found that customers would gladly pay for the fun personal details we can provide. The perso (custom) stickers make a quirky and charming addition to our service.
How do you make money?
We receive most of our funding from SMS fees. Each text costs a few Euros, and these add up over time.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Since we had low overhead starting out, we were able to become profitable in about a year. There were some lean times while we were growing our reputation and word-of-mouth.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
That period between the excitement of starting the company and when it became profitable was nerve-wracking. My partners and I invested quite a bit of our own money in the business, and if it failed, we would all be in financial trouble.
How did you get your first customer?
We posted some online ads in France and then found that we had attracted our first customers. That was an exciting day, seeing the program in action. I remember feeling proud and exhilarated.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Social media advertising has been profitable for us. For a relatively low cost, social media gets the word out quickly and easily. Our Facebook page creates viral content that our users share, and this inspires their friends to try our text-based services.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
In the past few months, we have had a little bit of difficulty attracting new customers. We have considered expanding our services to other countries, but the costs of starting up in a new country can be prohibitive. We ended up deciding to concentrate on the countries we are already invested in and to intensify our marketing campaigns instead.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Determination and creativity are what make a company successful. I try not to second-guess myself when it comes to my business decisions. I am not easily discouraged, and I take disappointments in stride. Of course, there are days when I feel ineffective, but I look at my successful company and take heart.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
When we expanded outside France and started providing English language services, that was satisfying. It was exciting to know that we were building a global brand at last.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I hope that we can eventually add more countries to our portfolio. I would like to see our business hit higher sales targets so that we can continue to expand our staffing and bring new creative blood into the design department.
Which business books have inspired you?
I recently picked up The Myth of the Nice Girl by Fran Hauser. I’ve been inspired by its message of achieving personal success while being a kind and compassionate person. I also loved Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. Her business success in the face of adversity inspires me.
What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?
I splurged and bought myself an all new computer for graphic design. It’s amazing.
What do you do in your spare time?
I try to take at least three trips a year that aren’t connected with the business. I have friends all over the world, and I love to take the time to visit them. I love good restaurants and spending time with friends. I also love to read.