Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 : The Year of the Kango

These days, Kango measures time in days rather than months or years. It was a mere 81 days ago that we launched KangoGift to a riotous crowd at Oktoberfest in Harvard Square. And now we are at another milestone, 2010!

Kango doesn't have any new year's superstitions yet like wearing bright underwear, eating grapes, or eating seven meals in one day. However he is excited to ring in the new year with all of his new friends and is eternally grateful for all the support customers, fans, journalists, partners, parents, and kangaroos around the world have offered!

Kango promises 2010 will be filled with plenty of new gifts, fun free stuff, and general Kango merriment. Let's all open a bottle of champagne and tip our glasses to new friends, good health, and general prosperity for all!

Monday, December 14, 2009

KangoGift as Secret Santa

One of the coolest things about watching KangoGift grow is that users are uncovering neat ways to send a little KangoGift cheer this holiday season. We've noticed quite a few folks send KangoGifts as "Secret Santa, Hanukkah Harry, or just anonymously".

A lot of Secret Santas out there are figuring out how to anonymously send Christmas gifts using KangoGift. What a nifty way to spread holiday cheer. What fun mischief! There’s no danger of getting caught dropping off that holiday mug at your co-worker’s cubicle; no more trying to squeeze that Snowman Kit into those dorm mailboxes; and no more leaving a box of holiday candy on your friend’s car windshield, hoping hungry passersby and birds won’t get to it first.

Here’s how our clever users have been sending their mystery gifts. When you’re checking out, just leave your name off the sender’s name fields – and get creative! We’ve seen gifts go out from such people as:

First Name: Santa
Last Name: Claus

All your recipient will see is a KangoGift from “Santa Claus,” and you’ll have them racking their brains (or becoming believers again). So go ahead. Text them a little pick me up from Finale; a holiday ornament from Cambridge Artists Cooperative; flowers from Petali; or if they’ve been really good this year, treat them to lunch at Daedalus or Trata.

Kango’s first holiday season, and he’s feeling good about being one of Santa’s Little Helpers!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

KangoGift Brings Mobile Gifting to Coolidge Corner

Brrr. It’s only November, and Kango’s first Boston winter hasn't been kind to him -- being from the warmer climes, Kango's never had such dry skin and chapped lips. So Kango's all the more happy to welcome Melt, Brookline's new bath and skincare shop to KangoGift!

Melt's products moisturize and pamper any skin and are handmade in Colorado with all natural ingredients. And their clever names, not to mention delicious scents, have Kango hooked! Lotions, shave screams, body wash and hair products, you name it, come in scrumptious scents like Lickin’ the Beaters (vanilla cake batter), Circus of Pears (a concoction of ginger and pear), and Solar Flair (think orange marmalade). If you need a stronger defense against Old Man Winter, Kango's a fan of Melt's Moisture Therapy package in Thor – a peppermint, eucalyptus, and menthol triple threat.

There's plenty here for the ladies and gents to indulge in. Their shave butter and prep oil have been hugely popular, and there's Get Fizzy With It – a decadent ball of bath oils and moisturizers that's been known to entice even bath-resistant kids into the tub. And hmm...for a romantic evening without the kids, there's our gift set of bath bubbles, massage bar, and scented candle.

To get people as excited as Kango is about Melt, Kango is offering everybody 10% off their purchases through December 1, 2009. Just enter promo code, "meltparty" at checkout!

Well, after a hard week of work, Kango's signing off and dipping his paws in Happy Feet - a tea tree oil soaking salts and moisturizing butter. Thanks, Coolidge Corner, for welcoming KangoGift to Brookline!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hopping into a New Neighborhood

Time slips by too quickly! The original idea was to have a few blog posts every week, not a blog post every few weeks – but we’ve strarted to drift in that direction. We’ll get better. Really. We want to keep you posted on how things are going at KangoGift.

We continue to hop along. Here are some of the highlights:

We’re entering into a partnership with another great Harvard Square retailer, and soon enough, KangoGift will be able to offer ice cream! We’re not going to tell you which ice cream store we’re partnering with just yet, but it’s one of Harvard Square’s favorites.

We’re also expanding to Coolidge Corner in Brookline! We’ll have another post soon about who our partners are there.

And… we’ll be spreading out to other states very soon. We’ve had retailers in other parts of the country contact us about having their products be delivered as KangoGifts. Who are we to say no!?

If you’ve got ideas about retailers you’d like to see us partners with, please tell us! And for that matter, tell those retailers about us. We’re looking to partner with as many great partners as possible, and we’re sure you know about many that we don’t know about. Help clue us in by emailing us here: inquiries at kangogift.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kango and Mobile Gifting

Wow! It has been almost three weeks since KangoGift launched and we are just now catching our breath. Here are some of the great developments!

We are especially excited to have Tistik on board. Tistik means "A warm welcome to you" in Mayan and this conveys the feeling one receives when visiting their Harvard Square location. We try to bring a little Tistik to you by offering a selection of their beautiful handmade jewelry made by Mexican artisans on our site.

We also continue to appreciate the continued partner inquiries from places all across the country. We are excited to connect with each of you and extend the KangoGift experience to your neighborhood.

More locally, we had two great weekends at Head of the Charles and Harvard's Parents Weekend. We also have to thank the Harvard Crimson for a great KangoGift review.

Since launch, the reception to our service has exceeded our expectations. One of the best tidbits we heard was from a family out west who wrote in to tell us that their nephew who is a student here in Cambridge, MA requested that the family use KangoGift to send him care packages. We love hearing that! Please keep sharing your comments and experiences with us.

As we close out this post, many of our new friends keep asking us how to describe KangoGift. That's easy... We make gift giving instantaneous and mobile. For a little more info, please check out our how it works section.

Friday, October 16, 2009

KangoGift’s Krazy Week

It’s been a bit nutty at KangoGift this week. Of course, we just launched last weekend, so we’re still on pins and needles about everything with our service working perfectly. Happy to report that so far, so good!

And we have some sweet news to share – sweet yet tart, come to think of it. This week, berryline agreed come on board as a KangoGift partner. If you haven’t had berryline frozen yogurt, you haven’t really experienced frozen yogurt! It is truly the best frozen yogurt I’ve had. Crazy, exotic flavors that are in constant rotation – Papaya, Nutella, Guava and Lychee to name a few. And a little cool tidbit on beryline: It was founded by an MIT post-doc science student. He tired of the academic routine and opted for fro-yo. Very cool guy, so it’s great to partner with him.

OK, so we’ve got berryline on board, and we should have their stuff available for purchase within the next few days. But then, on Wednesday, we get featured on a trendspotting site called Springwise. Headline title: Instant local gifts via text message. Something a bit wacky about this: Springwise is located out of Amsterdam! International media coverage! Anyhow, from that headline, we start getting some folks tweeting about us and blogging about us. And on top of that, we’ve had a handful of retailers from around the country contact us about trying to partner and offer their products as KangoGifts.

All very exciting stuff, and our heads are spinning a bit. We’ll see where it all goes.

OK, but enough about us. Here’s what we can offer YOU! We’re going to be down on the Charles River at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday afternoon. We’ll be in our orange KangoGift t-shirts. If you see one of us, stop us! Then demand we give you one of our promo cards – because we’re giving out one heck of a good deal. Not gonna tell you what it is; we want it to be a good surprise for you and your friends.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wow, what a weekend...

KangoGift launched! We’re for real now.

The site went live on Saturday, and we had our first “marketing” event on Sunday – at Oktoberfest in Harvard Square. (and by the way, if you’ve never been to the Cambridge Oktoberfest, you gotta try it sometime in your life – if for no other reason than the parade)

So the small Kango team of friends and family set up shop under a tent right in the Square, and we encouraged the passerby to come “spin to win” on our wheel of gifts. We ended up giving away close to 400 gifts (mostly coffee and cookies) – delivered to people’s mobile phones. One of the really cool things was sending the KangoGifts from the laptops we had set up at the tent, then seeing them arrive on people's phones within seconds (so-called “old” technology still kind of blows you away sometimes). Then those same folks either marched on over to our partners to redeem their gifts, or they squirreled them away on their mobile phones for a rainy day.

People seemed to really like the whole KangoGift idea. We were even asked to send our business plan out to some folks who stopped by (um… better get going on that).

We want to offer a special thanks to Finale, who did a great job handling all the gift recipients we sent their way. If you’ve never been to Finale, you have to go and just ogle at their desserts; they’re like little pieces of sweet, buttery artwork.

All said, it was terrific launch weekend for KangoGift. If you got a KangoGift or have given a KangoGift, please let us know about the experience. We want to make this thing as good as we can make it!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pulling Back the Covers

This is a genuinely exciting weekend for us here at KangoGift HQ. This weekend we’re pulling back the covers on a service we’ve been developing for the past few months.

The name of our new company is KangoGift, and what we’re doing is offering a new way for folks to give gifts to one another. The concept is actually pretty simple, and here’s how it works:

  1. You go to KangoGift.com and buy a gift for a friend
  2. You give us your friend’s mobile phone number, and we deliver a text message telling your friend that you bought him or her a present.
  3. Your friend can go and redeem that gift at one of our partners’ stores.

We think it’s pretty cool, and we’re hoping you think it’s cool, too.

We have dreams of one day having retail partners all over the country (all over the world?). Imagine being able to buy your sister in San Diego a Sundae, or your buddy in Boulder a burrito. Within minutes, people thousands of miles away could be enjoying gifts you’ve gotten them.

But for now, we’re launching in our neighborhood – Harvard Square. We’re really psyched that we’ve singed on a handful of awesome partners:

Finale Desserterie & Bakery: They create sensational dessert experiences

Petali Flower: They have a timeless and memorable style

Daedalus: 21st Century version of a Joycean pub

Trata: Not just pizza – an extended menu and beers from around the world

If you’ve got a friend who lives, works and goes to Harvard Square, you can get them a gift from anyone of those spots, and we’ll deliver it to their cell phone instantly.

Our official launch is at Oktoberfest in Harvard Square on Sunday. It’s our coming out party. And to celebrate, we’ll be giving away gifts (on us) to show folks how it all works.

Like I said, we think the idea is pretty cool. But more importantly, what do you think of it?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Oktoberfest and KangoGift - Harvard Square October 11

If you live in or near Boston, we encourage you to stop by Oktoberfest which will be held Sunday October 11, in Harvard Square. http://bit.ly/3gRB7

KangoGift will have a tent right in the midst of all the action and we would love for you to stop by and say hello.

We have even set aside some special gifts for our "blog friends," so please be sure to pay us a visit on the 11th!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome KangoGift!

Hello and Welcome to KangoGift!

What is KangoGift, you ask? KangoGift is a new and fun way for people to send and receive gifts. More info on what exactly that means will be shared once we launch our public beta.

The name KangoGift comes from Kango (our kangaroo-like mascot) and you know what gift means.

Kango is excited for his new mascot job and will work hard at ensuring your experience with our site is a pleasurable one.

The purpose of this blog will be to keep everyone updated on what we are up to here at Kango HQ. Please keep stopping by and sharing your feedback with us.

Lastly, I want to thank all of the KangoGift supporters out there. You know who you are. :) Your help, encouragement, and support have been the fuel to help make the company take off.