Meredith Stevens, VP for Digital Design at Miss Bongo, has helped to bring her company to the forefront of paid SMS messaging. When a customer sends a text to the service, they receive a collectible digital sticker or “perso” and a customized message. The level of personalization impresses the users. The fun service appeals to young people around the world. The collectible nature of the stickers encourages repeat business.
Ms. Stevens studied graphic design while she was in college. She combines innovative artistic designs with the technical savvy to make them work in the real world. She supervises a team of dedicated artists to bring the company’s vision to life. Miss Bongo is a charming cartoon monkey, bringing a fun sensibility to the service.
Meredith Stevens splits her time between Santa Monica, California and Bondi Beach, Australia. She is a world traveler who speaks five languages: English, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. This lets her take an insider’s perspective when she travels to foreign countries. She enjoys exploring the art, culture, and food of other cultures. It is easy for her to communicate with staff members from around the world.
Miss Bongo is a dynamic SMS texting service with the potential to expand around the world. With such creative staff as Meredith Stevens, the company is poised to succeed on the global stage.
What does your business do?
My company is a premium SMS texting service. When our customers contact us by text, we send them a collectible digital image. We also provide customized information about themselves and their friends. Our customers are mostly young people. The funny texts about their friends impress our users. They enjoy collecting and trading the animated graphics and emojis available with our service.
Are there any unique challenges in your industry?
Our business depends on novelty. Anyone might try our service once, but we strive to make people want to come back. The youth market can be fickle. If a digital service goes out of fashion, it may see its revenues drop drastically. The challenge of Miss Bongo Prix is making these return visits just as much fun as the first time. Our business also depends on content going viral, so we try to be as current as possible.
Do you have any particular challenges that you address?
I spend a lot of time working on the collectible stickers, called “perso,” that our users receive with each message. My challenge is to turn out enough great stickers to keep our users returning to collect more. We try to make a variety of stickers in various themes. We also try to develop special or rare stickers to keep our customers engaged.
Is your industry growing, shrinking, or remaining the same?
We are experiencing a great deal of competition from other smartphone-based services. The premium SMS format has been lucrative so far, but we are planning for a time when the market may shrink. The technology world is in constant motion. We try to anticipate industry trends to the best of our abilities.
How does technology impact your company?
Technology is the lifeblood of our company. As an SMS texting service, we rely on users’ smartphone capabilities. We work to keep our company current, using the most up-to-date graphics and customer information. We have a large customer information database that helps us produce the “gossip” texts our customers receive with their stickers.
Have you ever been to Miami?
I took my first trip to Miami about six months ago. It’s a beautiful city. It is a beach town like where I live, but with a much more cosmopolitan atmosphere. I love the mix of cultures and cuisines. Since I speak Spanish, I was able to chat with many of the locals and get ideas for the best places to eat.
What part of Miami?
We stayed in South Beach, though my friends and I had an amazing dinner in Little Havana. I stayed in a gorgeous boutique hotel. It was a wonderful and memorable trip.
Did you visit any particular locations including restaurants?
I stayed at the Betsy in South Beach. It’s a small hotel with personalized service. I had many amazing meals while I was in Miami. The most memorable was at the Versailles in Little Havana. Everyone told me it was the definitive Cuban restaurant in the city. I’d like to go back and eat there again.
Would you come back?
Absolutely. I was only in Miami for a weekend, and I feel like there is so much more to explore.
Was it a business or pleasure trip?
It was a pleasure trip. I flew in with a few friends from the West Coast.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I hope we will overcome some of our growth challenges. I would like to see us expand Miss Bongo Avis into new markets.