Wednesday, July 9, 2008 8:40 AM
A lot of people in technology, especially in startups, don't understand marketing. Melanie Notkin clearly does. Her startup, SavvyAuntie, is not some super-high-tech website, it's actually quite simple. But the marketing is genius.
Women account for 80% of the economy. Mothers spend about $1.7 trillion dollars on consumer products each year. But that's only about 50% of women. What about the other 50%?
SavvyAuntie is a site geared toward the other 50% of women who don't have kids, but know some. Melanie Notkin, the founder of SavvyAuntie, refers to these women as P.A.N.K.s (Professional Aunt, No Kids). Chances are you know some women who don't have kids, but are either ABRs (Aunts by Relation) or ABC (Aunts by Choice). These women typically spend money on children in some way or another, but where do they turn to learn what to buy? SavvyAuntie is basically a parenting site for non-parents.
SavvyAuntie is comprised of a social network, and resources like user blogs, expert blogs, activity guides and gift suggestions. Users register and fill in information about their nieces and nephews to get customized gift and activity suggestions, and information about themselves so that they can meet other aunts (and uncles).
I kind of rolled my eyes a little bit when I saw this, but I have to admit that it's a great idea. When you look up anything about kids, it's always marketed towards parents. There hasn't been a resource like this before. That's what drives startups: find a problem and come up with a solution.