CEO Matt Davies of PhatRice.com
PhatRice.com, based in Hong Kong, is a website designed to help providers of socially responsible and creative products sell their offerings online. The site promotes products in three categories:
• Listings that display a “heart” icon indicate products that improve lives through social good.
• A “green leaf” icon designates innovative products that are environmentally responsible.
• A “light bulb” icon denotes a product designed with exceptional creativity and imagination.
PhatRice.com (whose name is a combination of “pretty hot and tempting” and the concept of rice as a staple for Asian society) intends to gather these products from entrepreneurs all over the world, with an initial focus on offerings from Asia and sales to the Asian marketplace.
The Challenge: A flexible and affordable video platform
PhatRice.com serves customers from many languages and cultures. To explain PhatRice.com’s service, according to CEO Matt Davies, “we needed a solution to create an icebreaker video and multiple other videos for our website that could easily be converted to many other languages if necessary. We wanted it to be animated and cute and to project our image as a unique small business.”
PhatRice.com was a startup with a tight budget; it therefore needed to get its message into the marketplace in a cost-effective and timely manner without diverting manpower from raising capital.
The Solution: Maintaining creative control through GoAnimate
Primary considerations for PhatRice.com in choosing a platform on which to produce its videos were speed and price. Davies talked to many agencies that could have helped him produce an “explainer video,” but he hesitated at hiring an outside provider. “It results in your losing your creative control when you hand your vision to someone else,” Davies observed, “and it becomes their vision.”
Davies is a blogger and an enthusiast of online media and marketing websites. He came across a reference to GoAnimate in a blog that listed top online resources for startups that were alternatives to traditional mainstream tools. He also saw references to GoAnimate on Mashable and the blogs of other like-minded marketing enthusiasts.
“I created a short test video with GoAnimate to send to my dad for his birthday and see how the software worked,” Davies related. “I got hooked on it!”
GoAnimate gave Davies the flexibility he was seeking in a low-cost solution. “By using GoAnimate, we could create our video scene by scene exactly the way we liked it,” he said. “We could dub in our own voices, which allows us to use the same animations with voices in Mandarin, Cantonese, Thai, Malay and other languages. Also, GoAnimate had the largest selection of themes to tell our story. They did a great job of having prearranged backgrounds and characters, and we could have the character assume different positions and emotions. “
In creating his GoAnimate production, Davies was happy with the way that the animated characters and colors blended with his company’s logo and with the ability to insert the logo as a watermark. “I enjoyed how we could download the video, play it offline and email it to people to look at before we published it,” he said.
He also liked the multiple payment options, with the ability to try GoAnimate for free, and selecting other packages when needed. “Sometimes in the online world, things change rapidly and you don’t want to pay for a year’s subscription to a service level that will end up not continuing to meet your needs,” he noted. “By paying monthly, we could be sure we always had the right package.”
Davies was inspired by videos that other entrepreneurs had previously produced. “We figured out the weak points in other videos and sought to avoid those, while focusing on the main point we wanted to try to achieve,” he said. “We analyzed other videos to look at what made them successful and decided that our icebreaker video be no longer than one minute in length to attract initial users. We also decided our backgrounds and characters should be very neutral so that users of many different nationalities could identify with the video.”
Results: Cost savings and enthusiastic response
PhatRice.com was able to avoid the often substantial costs involved in acquiring editing software, being trained on software, or hiring a video editor. “GoAnimate offered the best solution for us as a startup business to tell our story in detail and capture people’s attention,” Davies said. “It made it really easy for us!”
PhatRice.com was still in its developmental stages, but even before the site was ready for market, its GoAnimate video accumulated loads of views from people who discovered it. “We have been pleasantly surprised at the video’s popularity,” Davies said. “We sent our website to numerous people to obtain feedback on its content, and the most positive feedback we got was all about our GoAnimate video.”
PhatRice.com’s current video serves as a high-level introduction to the company’s services. Eventually, Davies will create more GoAnimate videos on how to use the website and related topics.
“As a startup, we’re trying to juggle many balls at the same time,” Davies said. “GoAnimate made it a lot easier to get our story out there in a timely way with great value so we could work on the other dimensions of our business.”
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