The Type dating app has been developed by Benno Spencer. He quit his City-based job in commodities and threw himself deep into the world of online relationships.
Well aware of the competition, Spencer explained why taking the Type dating app into such a congested market was more appealing than off-putting.
“I think that market saturation is proof that there is a strong demand for a certain product. Therefore, the number of dating apps already out there never put me off releasing my own and it actually makes Type’s case all the more compelling,” he said.
“I noticed that there was a gap in the market for a more attribute-specific app that would play into people’s desire to use their time efficiently, whilst ensuring they feel that all-important instant attraction when they get matched, and went with it.”
With the Type dating app, the concept was simple – take the real world approach to dating into the online world. As the name suggests, users can find their type by searching for the physical traits they would look for in someone on the street.
To differentiate his model, Spencer examined the existing dating services out there to see what he could do to stand apart from them.
“I spent a lot of time looking at competitors, and took note of which elements of the dating process they focused on. I also looked at the market to find out what is most valued when it comes to first impressions in a potential partner,” he said.
“Appearance was clearly central. It was also clear by the sheer number of online dating platforms available that there’s a huge trend developing, where meeting people ‘in real life’ is becoming the exception rather than the rule.
“I have taken this even further with Type, as users don’t have to spend hours mindlessly scrolling; they can chat to people that are their type straight away and save precious time, not to mention helping them avoid tedious dates with people they wouldn’t normally touch with a barge pole.”
Promoting this new approach to finding dates online proved to be a challenge for Spencer when selling the concept to users, who had become accustomed to searching via location and other algorithms, rather than type.
“I think promoting your niche is central to ensuring the success of your business over the offerings of competitors, and so far this mantra is serving us well,” he explained.
He’s not wrong. We spoke with adultery service Ashley Madison and heard how the hacking scandal it suffered two years ago, which leaked user details, has only fuelled further growth – even with the business freezing marketing.
“If anything, market saturation encourages creativity and ingenuity when it comes to accelerating your business’ growth, and can actually result in the best and most original ideas,” Spencer added.
Closing on what key thing is needed for the Type dating app to distinguish itself further, he highlighted two elements.
“There’s users’ ability to customise their search so that they only encounter genuine potential matches and the ‘Looking for You’ feature, which shows you users that you may not have thought were your type. Both are central to Type’s success,” he said.
“This element of catering to individual needs is really important, as I think consumers respond well to the opportunity to personalise their user experience.
“The same can be said for the likes of Citymapper in the travel sector or Gumtree as an online marketplace. Users are able to acutely specify what they want when they engage with the app, so that they get exactly what they want in return.”