Harnessing the Power of Birthdays to Build Relationships
Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Brendan Kleinman, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Birthday App. Our conversation revolved around the power of using birthdays and special events to build relationships, both in business and personal life.
The Genesis of Birthday App
Brendan Kleinman is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Having successfully launched three consumer companies, he has a knack for leveraging technology to make exclusive experiences and products available to a broader audience. The idea for Birthday App was born out of a simple realization – the universal celebration of birthdays and the touchpoint they provide in relationships. Brendan wanted to make it easier for people to connect and create meaningful experiences for each other on their birthdays.
The Challenge of Authentic Touchpoints
In our conversation, Brendan and I delved into the challenge of finding authentic touchpoints and the importance of personalization. In the post-COVID world, people tend to have smaller circles and are investing deeper in closer relationships. The goal of Birthday App is to make it easy to be thoughtful in a way that feels unique and not generic. They aim to provide personalized recommendations, such as gifting a local restaurant reservation, to make the recipient feel special.
The Importance of Genuine Relationships
We also touched upon the performative nature of social media and the importance of genuine relationships. We referenced a happiness study that found relationships to be the key factor for long and happy lives. This underscores the mission of Birthday App – to foster authentic and personalized interactions for birthdays and special events.
Building Relationships: Finding Reasons to Reach Out
Brendan explained that the key to building relationships is finding reasons to reach out to people. In the current world, it can be challenging to find those reasons due to the ongoing pandemic and changing patterns. However, Birthday App aims to make it easier for users to connect with others by providing suggestions and reminders for thoughtful gestures.
The Impact of Unexpected Gestures
When I asked Brendan about the impact of unexpected gestures on people, he agreed that being pleasantly surprised by someone we care about or have a business relationship with is powerful. He mentioned a theory by Derek Thompson, called the “80% familiar, 20% surprising” rule, which suggests that things that catch our attention often have a balance of familiarity and surprise. Birthday App incorporates this concept, such as creating personalized bobblehead cards and offering unique experiences.
The Success of Birthday App
Since launching Birthday App, Brendan shared that the app has grown to a user base of around 30,000 active users through word-of-mouth marketing. This is a testament to the app’s effectiveness in helping users connect with others in a meaningful way.
The Importance of Being Seen, Heard, and Understood
In our conversation, we acknowledged the importance of being seen, heard, and understood, which aligns with research showing that people crave these things. Birthday App plays a role in fulfilling the “seen” aspect by reminding users to acknowledge and celebrate birthdays.
The Convenience of Birthday App
Brendan explained that Birthday App provides a convenient way to keep track of birthdays and offers features like sending cards and gifts. Many people secretly use the app as a “secret weapon” to connect with others. Wishing someone a happy birthday not only benefits the recipient but also makes the sender feel more connected.
John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.