Leveraging press and partnerships for user acquisition and credibility — Adam Allore, Wavve Boating
Adam Allore reveals partnership and PR strategies on the Sub Club podcast.
The age-old saying that “If you want something done right, do it yourself” isn’t such bad advice.
Adam Allore, CEO and founder of Wavve Boating, used his engineering background to create a nautical map that provided the foundation for a fully-fledged boat navigation app. “My goal initially was to build a map that I would use,” he shared on the Sub Club podcast — channeling the kind of customer-focused energy developers need to grow their apps in the earliest stages.
Launching the MVP at a boat show
Adam took an entrepreneurial route by setting up a booth at a boat show to demonstrate to potential users and partners what his map offered to fellow sailors. It wasn’t an app — it just looked like one. With positive feedback pouring in, people were soon asking where to find the app on the App Store; of course, it wasn’t there. Adam explained that the app was still in beta and collected interested users’ emails to let them know once it was released. Having a minimum viable product (MVP) is a critical part of the early growth phase — even if it really is the barest minimum possible.
The key driver of Wavve’s starting success wasn’t just the volume of demand but the excitement it ignited and the experience Adam could create. “That was what gave me that confidence to quit my job, pursue this thing full time, and make this beta a reality,” he highlights. Coupled with organic interest, Adam moved the needle by tapping directly into the community — he got industry press on board with a compelling story that resonated with potential customers and partners. Even without incentivization, users shared the app and helped it grow.
Building credibility through strategic partnerships
The real game-changer for Wavve Boating, however, came in the form of strategic partnerships. For Adam, these partnerships were not just about scaling up quickly; they were about adding credibility and value to Wavve Boating at a crucial early stage. Reflecting on this phase, Adam shared, “Knowing that landing this partnership would just add a ton of credibility for the business, user acquisition aside, like it was going to help put the company on the map.”
Adam’s strategy in forging these partnerships was grounded in pragmatism and a focus on mutual benefit. He steered clear of being greedy, understanding the importance of committing to what was achievable and beneficial for both parties. This approach wasn’t just about playing it safe; it was about building solid, reliable relationships that would sustain and support the business in the long run.
“De-risk the situation as much as possible. Over-deliver, be timely, don’t be greedy and then, just make sure you can deliver on it and, have fun and go from there.”
A crucial aspect of Adam’s partnership strategy was to start by considering how Wavve Boating could benefit the potential partner. “What’s the advantage of them working with you? And how can you make a difference in their business at the end of the day?” Adam posed these questions, emphasizing the need to align with partners’ goals and brand missions. This mindset shifts the focus from a one-sided gain to a collaborative effort where both parties see real value.
Crafting a fresh narrative in the marine space
In addition to strategic partnerships, another key element in Wavve Boating’s growth was a savvy approach to public relations (PR). Adam recognized an opportunity in the marine space, which was ripe for a fresh story amidst a sea of repetitive narratives. He crafted a unique angle around Wavve Boating’s mobile solution and community element, distinguishing it from traditional marine topics.
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His strategy involved simplifying journalists’ work by providing ready-to-use content, complete with images and compelling angles. This approach not only made Wavve Boating’s story more appealing but also easier for journalists to cover, leading to increased visibility and credibility in the marine space. Adam reflected, “Here’s this application that can allow anyone to boat like a local wherever they go,” highlighting the community-driven aspect of the app, which resonated well with both journalists and users.
Adam Allore’s story underscores the power of a customer-first approach, the strategic savvy in forging partnerships, and the art of telling a compelling story.