Salty Commune

About Salty Commune

Salty Commune is an alternative co-working space for the creative community, seeking to reunite the creatives with its rock-music-inspired aesthetics in Shoreditch, London. Back in 2017, the idea was born when the founders were looking for a work space that would represent their own rebellious and artsy perspective on life, but found that the offering of co-working spaces were exceptionally boring: all of them looked similar, stuck between being corporate and acceptably stylish.

Convinced that they can’t be alone in wanting a unique work space and that the market is ripe for differentiation and niche appeal, they set out to discover if this could be an idea worth developing.

So the idea was born, but…

Salty Commune’s founders are well aware that while they loved their idea, they needed to make sure that it is the right product for the right market. Afterall, building and investing in a product with no market need is the number 1 reason why startups fail. No further elaboration required!

The founders came up with a few initial ideas:

Provide a blank canvas, an versatile office space for people to make it their own, with the assumption that the possibility to tailor/design a space to their one’s requirements is important;
Create a space specific for designers only with the assumption that they are a specific audience type who value non traditional work spaces
Create a space specific for rock and roll enthusiasts, with the assumption that lovers of this music type would enjoy a non corporate environment
Create a space for musicians only, with the assumption that there are a lack of interesting work spaces for them to create music and grow within this community
How could they validate these ideas above or better still, discover better ones that could work?

Pretotyping 4 Personas in 4 weeks

To help Salty Commune validate their 4 ideas and assumptions, we used pretotyping, a set of techniques, tools and metrics to gauge interest in their idea before any sort of development. There are many ways to test if an idea works, but pretotyping is a particular method where hypotheses can be tested in less time to identify an innovation sweet spot with more certainty.

We used the 4 persona ideas as a starting point and created Facebook ads that appealed to this audience simply and effectively. These ads were simple and to the point.

These ads ran concurrently for 2 weeks, and each had a headline, image and text. All of them led to the same landing page, containing a simple form for anyone who would like to register their interest to be contacted when this co-working space launches.

After 2 weeks, results showed that the campaigns for the blank canvas and rock and roll personas generated the most interest with the highest amount of clicks. This signified that these personas resonated with the messaging and were interested in finding out more about a co-working space for their needs.

The results from designers and musicians fell behind, which led us to reasonably believe they didn’t have the same pain points as the other two personas.

With this, we dedicated the same resources but to only the 2 winning personas for another 2 weeks. This time, the landing pages were designed to be even more in line with this persona with its look and feel, in order to drive conversions i.e obtain email addresses.

Results

2 weeks later, we received the most surprising results. The campaign tailored and targeted to the Rock and Roll enthusiasts achieved an amazing CTR and conversion rate of X and Y, unexpectedly and beat the blank canvas campaign by XYZ%.

In just 4 short weeks spending no more than £500, Rock Mission was able to confirm that Rock and Roll enthusiasts were indeed personas who would respond well to this offering, and gave Salty Commune confidence in allocating resources and time to develop this project further. In addition, Salty Commune was able to further segment this audience by contacting and surveying these individuals who signed up. This exercise revealed that companies and professionals who signed up were mainly from the creative and tech industries.

With this method, Salty Commune now has data to reasonably believe that creative and tech professionals who loves a rock and roll aesthetic and attitudes are seeking a coworking space just for them. Today, over 120 companies and freelancers have signed up to its website already and Salty Commune is seeking investment via Syndicate Room to launch their venture. Unlike other startups, they are more informed and well prepared instead of flying blind, hoping that their idea would work.

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