May 5, 2012

Want to Turn Your Brand’s Fans Into Expert Advisors? Try This Startup
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It’s hard not to argue that Needle is a cool startup when you see its headquarters — essentially, a top-of-the-line RV with a roofdeck lined in artificial grass.Needle connects online shoppers with product experts who assist them through chat, voice and video communication. Imagine the high-quality customer service of a sales person on the shop floor at Nordstrom, but when you’re shopping online.

Needle re-creates a real store experience, but even one better because the experts are top-notch and love the products they recommend. They also don’t work full time, so they don’t get burnt out and are always eager to help.

“Needlers,” as they are called, can earn credits for selling items, which they can put toward purchases of their own. They can also create “social coupons” to share with friends on Facebook.

Needle’s CEO Morgan Lynch gave us the tour of his mobile office and introduced us to several “Needlers” who were working for Skullcandy and Under Armor, two of Needle’s clients. Lynch calls it “fansourcing” commerce.
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Tom George

Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.
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Founder and CEO of Internet Billboards. A futurist and serial entrepreneur, as well as a professional fitness trainer, martial artist, and business strategist. Helped to develop inbound advertising. An avid content curator who enjoys finding those digital gems out there in cyberspace and sharing them with others.

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