Yossi Meshulam, Cofounder and CEO at Ripples tells us how one can add amazing prints onto their coffee and cocktails with their Ripple Maker!
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Yossi Meshulam: Like everyone the situation Covid created was not something we were ready for in any way, shape or form. We are a very busy family and the first lockdown was a system shock for everyone. Luckily we are one of these annoying families that quite enjoy the coziness of being together 24×7, so we started to behave as if we were on a long road trip and found pleasure in the situation, playing Catan for many hours, cooking meals together, and more. I strongly believe that humans have this amazing ability to adapt to situations. It is inspiring to see how quickly we can change from being frustrated by the situation to creating new enjoyable life routines.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Ripples.
Yossi Meshulam: I have a great passion for people, technology, and innovation, thus the Tech sector was a great place for me to combine them all while working with fascinating people over the years. I started my career as a software engineer but shortly shifted to customer-facing positions in sales and marketing, and later on to general management. My last corporate position was a Vice President in HP Palo Alto after which I realized that I crave the excitement of a fast-moving startup. I met dozens of companies and entrepreneurs, most of them around the usual suspect areas of security, data collection, and other IT-related companies. What got me hooked on Ripples was the huge potential of revolutionizing an industry that doesn’t get to enjoy a lot of innovation.
How does Ripples innovate?
Yossi Meshulam: Ripples is a pioneering bev-top media platform that turns an ordinary drink into innovative media by printing images and messages on foam-topped beverages. Since its inception in 2014, Ripples has printed millions of personalized images on a range of drinks from beer to nitrogenated cocktails, allowing customers across the globe to enhance consumer interaction and engagement.
With the ability to print customizable and personalized content, bev-top media provides a compelling reason for consumers to choose those brands supported by Ripples.
The reaction to receiving a drink topped with personalized content is universal: consumers take out their phones, snap photos, and share them online – turning consumers into an army of viral influencers!
This means that customers who use the Ripples platform experience a number of benefits including an increase in sales and share of wallet, the ability to reach a new generation of beverage consumers whilst also building brand awareness; and a huge uptick in their social media impact.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Yossi Meshulam: Ripples serves the F&B and travel industries – two industries that got badly hit from Covid-19. As such we had to decide whether to sit and wait for the storm to pass or embrace the situation, be there for our customers and get ready for the days to come. We choose the latter. Working with our customers and partners we continued spreading smiles and optimism in creative ways, while working on new solutions for the day after, making this year productive, creative, and uniting.
Our focus now is creating new solutions for our customers to help them cope with the days after Covid-19 – getting consumers out of their homes as lockdown gradually releases.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Yossi Meshulam: As a startup, we’re used to creating magic with limited resources, but this past year put the entire team to the test. It was a reminder of key principles – that it’s crucial to know your value and the distilled version of your messaging and to have the right people in the room. This approach helped our sales and marketing shift their focus from large events to a digital-first model, giving us the runway to focus on R&D innovations and new solutions for the ‘day after.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Yossi Meshulam: Through the real-time data derived from our bev-top media platform, we’re able to track the impacts of the crisis across thousands of customers in eighty countries worldwide. It’s provided us with a unique snapshot of how the travel, hospitality, and food & beverage industries are weathering the pandemic.
As countries are going in and out of lockdown, it’s a crucial tool to see the state of the industry in each region. Plus, seeing the content printed (whether it’s a ‘welcome back’ message, a Christmas greeting, or a Borat meme), lets us keep our finger on the pulse of sentiment worldwide, and helps our global clients see the same for their brands.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Yossi Meshulam: Ripples is the category leader for bev-top media, so we’ve always strived to beat our own benchmarks. 2021 will bring new innovations across the board – from our content management platform to our tech to the natural extracts we use for each printed drink.
Your final thoughts?
Yossi Meshulam: People aren’t missing restaurants because of the food, or indoor coffee shops just because of the lattes. We’re all craving connection and a sense of community. The Ripples platform helps our customers – from global brands to boutique hotels – create a personalized experience for each guest, and forge a connection even if everyone’s wearing a mask.
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