Case Studies
4
min read

How Kinde built pre-launch hype and maintained growth momentum from the get go

Written by
Chrissy Barton-Jones
Published on
April 1, 2024

Welcome to the Startup Marketing Stars series! Here, we bring you the untold stories of AU and NZ startups’ marketing strategies. What worked in the early days? What didn’t? And what can we learn from them? Join us, as we share the experiences of startup founders and their teams.

Startup bio

Company: Kinde.

What does Kinde do: Kinde is a set of building blocks for software products, which enables founders to cut down development time by 6-12 months. 

How is it pronounced? It’s ‘kind’. We love that they’re happy to acknowledge it’s ever-so-slightly unclear and no, they are not part of Kindle. 😉 

Target markets: 

  • Grass roots developers (side hustle/weekend developers)
  • Companies with high volumes (in the 100s-1000s)
  • Founders (tech or not) 

Growth focus: This year Kinde is focusing on what developers are interested in and creating a united front across all channels. They’ll be turning attention toward enterprise buyers, and beyond that the founders market once the product is fully built out, and they can shorten the distance to get software businesses off the ground. 

The team behind the marketing

We spoke to Connor Cameron, who heads up marketing and joined Kinde a few months after it was founded in 2021.

Connor has his own entrepreneurial back story, starting his own companies from an early age, which led him into marketing and the tech scene. He enjoys crafting brands and creating passionate product communities - he’s industry agnostic but likes working with “good people on cool problems”. 

So far, Kinde has mainly focused on performance marketing, influencers, content and brand media. They believe users are their biggest advocates, and keep this front of mind in everything they do. 

Launching on Product Hunt and powering forward

Kinde seemed to burst onto the market in 2022 and has grown steadily since then. We know harnessing that launch buzz isn’t always easy… so how did they do it? We asked Connor about the thinking behind it, how it was managed and how they seemed to be everywhere all at the same time!

Connor explained that the team of almost 30 people at that stage worked together to generate interest 3-4 months out from a specific Tuesday they chose for their official “launch” on Product Hunt. Each team member asked family and friends to post about their launch on social media on/around that day, generating a lot of LinkedIn activity, including from their investors. This meant Kinde’s launch was picked up by the Product Hunt team and featured in their newsletter, which has a huge readership - mission accomplished! 

Beyond launch, Kinde has continued to power forward - they now have tens of thousands of businesses onboard and have had more than a million users log in. They’ve built a strong community on platforms like X (Twitter) and Reddit, and regularly pop up in developer communities. 

In early 2023, they decided to change tack after realising they were focusing heavily on businesses and couldn't always compete with market predecessors. So, they switched focus to grass roots developers and found this resulted in several positives - they were easier to access, they responded better to the Kinde brand, and once on board, Kinde could start selling up to them more than competitors seemed able to. 

The Kinde Speedrun Competition 

The team recently ran the Kinde Speedrun Competition, giving away up to $20,000 worth of prizes. The competition ran for 2 weeks on X, calling for the world’s fastest developer - AKA the person who could integrate Kinde Auth the fastest.

The results

In Connor’s words: “Interest was awesome.” Several users attempted it more than 1000 times over the two-week competition, and there were hundreds of official entries via X. The team were stoked with interest and engagement levels, further validating their knowledge that X is a popular platform for developers. 

Would they have changed anything about the competition?

Connor reflected that one thing he would change next time would be accessibility.  Some users were so fast that their impressive times would likely have put others off entering, especially because there was only one big prize. Because of this, they believe up to 4 times the number of actual entrants attempted it but didn't publish their entries.

What they’ve learnt 🧠

Connor has noticed that many startups focus too much on what their biggest competitors are doing. His advice to new founders is: If you’re trying to grow a product, don't try to beat someone at their own game. There are plenty of ways to get in front of customers and be more effective than others before you. You will learn how your customers want to be contacted, so make sure you are not getting caught up in how you’ve done things in the past/in previous roles. Always listen to your customers and they will tell you what you need to know!

In terms of future Kinde competitions, the next one might be broader in scope and not require entry via a social media post, but they’d be happy to keep running competitions on X where it worked a treat for them. 

What's next for Kinde? 

An exciting release on the way is Kinde Billing. When married with existing auth and user management, Kinde’s customers will be able to access a smooth and scalable foundation for their software. 

You can learn more about Kinde on their website and follow them on LinkedIn and X to keep up with their growth and insights. ✨

Thanks again to Connor Cameron for sharing his learnings.

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