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Square Growth – Case Study

Square helps small and medium businesses accept credit cards, manage sale systems and offers for SMBs so that they can grow more quickly. Square was initially a credit card reader for the iPad, iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets, and as such was the easiest way for businesses to accept credit card payments. Square now operates in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Before Square started delivering this phenomenal service, card payments were an expensive and difficult process for merchants. Namely, merchants had to set minimum purchase limits and their commissions were too low.

Jim McKelvey wanted to sell his piece of glass at an art fair, but he couldn’t accept credit cards. He decided to solve the problem, but he needed a great partner. Jim found the best possible co-founder and partner – Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter. Dorsey loved the solution Jim was trying to implement, so he used his influence and sent a list named “140 Reasons Why Square Will Fail” to investors and early customers. If you’re not familiar with this list, make sure you Google it. Every time he came in front of the investors, he was prepared and had an explanation for every single thing on the list. This approach received huge attention from the tech press.

That was only the beginning of their growth hacking strategy. After installing the first hardware and software solutions for their clients, Square implemented excellent customer loyalty and satisfaction features which made small businesses (restaurants, cafés, etc. ) more intelligent and reduced their marketing expenses. They did it by optimizing their software utilizing the feedback they received from their customers and by analyzing how their clients used the product.

Their growth team could have stopped there, but they brainstormed and worked hard to make an eye-catching design. This tactic led their customers to ask the question “What is this thing?”. We saw a great consumer psychology technique here, since it is clear that consumers like to experience new things and be surprised.

In addition, their amazing Growth strategy help them sell their devices in Apple stores for only $10. They got a large number of downloads in combination with the iOS application. This strategy resulted in a strategic investment from Visa which gave them an unbelievable boost.

All of these elements helped Square cross-sell their service and reduce their retention rate. Their Customer Acquisition strategy of bringing big clients on board is an excellent example of how you can dominate the market quickly.

In January 2014, Square scored a $5 billion valuation, and they didn’t get there by accident. Growth hacking tactics like these illustrate how successful founders should think and use customer journeys to acquire new clients.

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